by Ron Noecker
Going down the path as a learner is an adventure of discovery. I like to think of myself more as a learner than a knower. It’s much more exciting. In a forest, there are things to discover, even fallen dead trees are teaming with micro-organisms and sprouting mushrooms. Life is a forest. I want to look at my work as a caregiver in the same way. I am a learner on a path of discovery with those in need of my assistance. I don’t have to know everything.
When I enter a patient’s room, assist my child, or advise a friend, I do it as a learner. It’s much more fun. Just because I know my patient’s diagnosis doesn’t mean I have all the answers to their disease process. I have to ask questions and become curious about what is happening for them. I have to open my eyes, ears, and, yes, sometimes, my nose. Come to think of it, that’s the way I want to be treated too. It’s not so fun when people have me all figured out.
There are things I want to keep in mind. I know that I have to get clear about the issue at hand. What do I want to learn? It is an act of kindness to clarify the problem before I start helping someone. There is a need for trust with those I support, and being a learner is a better way to grow the confidence as opposed to always knowing everything. As a leader, when learning is a priority, and being curious is demonstrated by members of my team, I want to affirm and even reward that behavior.
Omniscient Love, increase my comfort with understanding myself as a learner. May I be forever full of wonder about the intricacies of human life and the beauty of nature all around me. May the challenges I face be sparks of curiosity-igniting flames of possibility for all whom I encounter and offer assistance. AMEN.
ACTION: Do you feel you have to know everything? Observe yourself as a learner this week. Who do you know who is really good at practicing the art of being a learner? Talk to them about it this week.
Learn more about the above photo by Kendall Draeger below. Our thanks to Kendall for his use in this series called, “Leadership.” Credit is given for the influence provided in “Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown in these reflections. Learn more at BreneBrown.com.