Did you know that being conscious and transparent about incompetence can be a good thing?
Most of us don’t like to be told that we’re incompetent. And in many cases, people tend to get defensive instead of admitting that they don’t know something.
But it can be very helpful to admit when you don’t know, or don’t understand an idea or process.
In the context of training employees on the shop floor, there will be a tendency for the employee to give a false signal that they understand before they actually do. This is because they want the person who’s training them to think they’re capable and ready to perform the job, rather than admitting that they need it explained to them again.
As the leader, people will take their lead from your behavior. Do you admit mistakes, and to not knowing something? Or do you act overly aggressive when you’re challenged on an area of weakness? When you as the leader make it comfortable for your team members to admit their weaknesses, you’ll achieve greater performance, better quality, and create a safer work environment.
And there’s one final benefit to assuming you don’t know something.
When you listen to someone, there’s a tendency to jump to conclusions and make incorrect assumptions. Instead, pause and ask the person to clarify what they said. Or, ask a question to better understand before you respond.
What’s one thing you do to show your team that it’s not a bad thing to admit their weaknesses?