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Do you know as much as you think you do?

by David Specht

When I was in junior high school, one of my best friends had a shirt with the words “Know It All” really large. A closer look revealed the following sentence: “People who think they know it all particularly annoy those of us who do.”

While funny, the statement is often reflected in the attitudes of many. They come across as if there is nothing you can say or do that can add one ounce of improvement to their knowledge or life. If we are not careful, we can become this person as well.

They are all around us, from politicians to family members. The advent of social media has made matters worse.

People today often share their “knowledge” of something, often knowing but a fraction of the facts
This “know it all” mentality can cause any of us to miss out on learning opportunities, or even sabotage our own success.

For example, when I was in advertising sales full time, I came across a client who was quick to point out he had a college marketing degree. His condescending attitude really got under my skin. After all, I was there to do my job and I had done my homework on his business.

Because of a closed mind, this potential client missed out on the opportunity to learn something new. He missed out on a “free” consultation from someone with a different perspective.

Sure, I was there to sell him something — eventually. But I was also there to help his business the very best I could.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. I vowed to never allow myself to think so highly of myself that I would be unwilling to learn from others. That day, I learned about wisdom. Something a “know-it-all” will never know.

David Specht Jr. is publisher of the Minden Press-Herald.

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