I recently had a meeting with a successful professional that practices in an area of expertise that I know little about.
I thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of getting to know this person better, to gain a stronger understanding of their particular field of work.
I was honored to listen and learn.
As they shared, I was further intrigued and very quickly realized that had I prepared questions to bring to the discussion rather than my listening ears, I would have missed the opportunity to hear the insight that was shared.
The key takeaway for me was (and is) that sometimes we simply 'don't know what we don't know' and listening to learn is quite different than hearing to reply.
When we listen to learn, we put ego aside and our sole commitment is to better understand.
When we hear to reply, we are listening with half an ear while simultaneously thinking through our response.
The pursuit of understanding far exceeds head knowledge. It is the entryway to peeling apart the layers of the how, what, and why and drilling down to the core.
It is a gift to listen and learn - because sometimes, quite frankly, we just 'don't know what we don't know.'