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reBlog from thoughtleadershipleverage.com: Embracing confusion

I found this fascinating quote today, which I wanted to share with you:

If you’re spending time thinking about something that’s important and you aren’t comfortable being confused you will often stay in your comfort zone and rely on your past experiences to help you gain the insight or clarity that you’re seeking.  In many instances that’s perfectly reasonable.  If you’ve got deep technical experience that’s relative to the issue or if it’s a recurring situation that you’ve resolved successfully in the past  you may not need to allow yourself to learn from the confusion.  That being said in today’s fast moving marketplace very few of us are able to continue to move forward effectively by only relying on our past experience. We need to be creative, we need to innovate and we are dealing with issues that are new, and unfamiliar.thoughtleadershipleverage.com, Embracing confusion, Apr 2010

When I was in law school, oe of the first things that I noticed – both about the curriculum and the students – is that very little room was left for an, “I don’t know,” response to a given question.  During contracts class, for example, we were expected to deftly dodge and parry the professor‘s Socratic method, never embarrassing ourselves in front of classmates by acting confused.

In fact, as the writer of the article above so correctly states, being confused about a given problem is the pathway to clarity, if we allow ourselves the comfort of feeling confused.  Is this a techy subject?  Not in and of itself.  However, since perhaps the advent of the case method of studying law, the practice of law is being changed faster and more profoundly because of new and emerging technologies.  It is ok if you feel confused, overwhelmed, unable to keep up.  I write about tech and legal issues every week, and I have trouble keeping up.  Tech articles I clipped and set aside that are only, say, 3-6 months old are already obsolete, hardly worth a mention.

Moreover, if you find yourself surrounded by other lawyers who seem to know all there is to know about tech issues and the practice, get some new colleagues to hang out with.  Your current crowd is still exhibiting that unfortunate behavior brought with them to, or learned in, law school – never show confusion or say “I don’t know.”  In today’s world, embrace confusion and you will attain greater clarity.


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