Being An Ass

WARNING: This is a rant.

It seems that knowledge snobbery is a phenomenon spreading between self help devotees which is a treacherous mindset to have. That’s particularly true if you’re into NLP training, life coaching or if you’re a life coach yourself.

I was watching Wife Swap the other day. It’s a very interesting show where a house wife goes to live with another family whose values and living style are the exact opposite of hers. What was particularly interesting about that episode is that one of the wives was a child behaviour and parenting counsellor. She actually trains parents how to raise their children and she’s very involved in her own children’s lives… up to the point of being a control freak. The house she was going to live in for a couple weeks was the exact opposite however. The other parents let their children do whatever, whenever.

At the end of the episode parents sat across the table to share what they learned from each others. When the counsellor was asked what she learned, her response to the other family was: “what I think YOU SHOULD do…”

She learned nothing!

Even though she had a LOT to learn, she learned nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why? Because she’s what I call a knowledge snob or an ASS-umptionist.

Knowledge snobs are those who acquire some knowledge and think that as a result they’re beyond others. They stop hearing what others are saying. They stop learning. They think they know it all, they are above all and they can fix everyone else. Or at least that’s what these ASS-umptionists assume.

How do you know if you’re one?

  • You often say to yourself: “pffft… I know this”
  • You think that course/book you read etc is the magic bullet to everyone’s problems
  • You don’t miss a chance to try and impress others with your knowledge
  • Before someone has completed the question, you’re interrupting and answering
  • Before someone has finished their sentence, you already think you know what they should do

This is a very, very dangerous place to be in.

Aristotle said:

The moment you say to yourself: “Oh I know this” your mind shuts down. You stop acquiring knowledge. And before you know it, your knowledge and you will become outdated. Not to mention you becoming a pain in the neck.

Try this instead. Whenever you’re at a training, a seminar, in the middle of a conversation etc. and you hear yourself saying “Oh I know this” instantly switch mindsets and think “but let me pay attention anyway and try to learn something new”. You’d be amazed with this simple mindset what new knowledge you might acquire. Because it’s never only about what’s being said. It’s about:

  • What’s being said
  • How is it being said
  • Who it is being said to
  • What is the reaction to what’s being said

When you pay attention to these four elements whether you’re in a seminar listening to the trainer, you’re a trainer listening to a question from the audience or you’re simply in a normal conversation, your understanding will go through a major positive shift. That’s particularly true if you’re a life coach or into life coaching.

Never, ever let your mind wander away at the beginning of the conversation thinking you know this and assume you know how to fix it. The moment you do this, you’ll become an ASS-umptionist and you’ll need some fixing yourself.

Rant over.

Facebook comments:

  1. Vinnie
    Vinnie11-28-2011

    Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are answered!

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