Learning is actually a declaration of vulnerability because it requires an admission of not knowing.
As children, we aren’t aware of the risk of admission but slowly shame writes its story deep in our hearts and emphasizes the NOT knowing ENOUGH.
If you’ve failed an exam, publicly answered a question wrongly or not known something you were told you should have known, you’ll be familiar with the sting of shame and the feeling of not being enough that accompanies not knowing enough.
Research shows that intentional learning and curiosity drastically slows down as we finish school hit our 20’s. Years ago developmental experts thought this was because our brains basically stopped developing the capacity for learning. Thankfully that theory was debunked in the past decade and although data retention slows; context, wisdom, and consciousness definitely have the ability to increase and are very personally rewarding.
So what hinders further learning and curiosity into adulthood, parenthood, and elderhood? I’d say shame is the biggest reason. It’s certainly not lack of information or opportunity.
How do organisations and communities combat this shame? The answer is RELATIONAL SAFETY. Curt Thompson writes ‘We are not motivated by the belief we will not fail, but by the conviction that when we make mistakes they will not be our ruin. In an environment where we are unafraid, mistakes are not our enemies but our friends.’
Low relational trust and safety in a workplace, home, church or organisation will always hinder curiosity, learning, and innovation.
I have to say, I’m dreaming of marketplace, family and religious communities that are no-shame zones. Can you imagine the potential? Can you imagine going to work every day within a safe work community where weakness was welcomed, mistakes were your friends and development of heart and hand were the progressive norm? Sounds like heaven!!
David Tensen – LeaderHeart
#Shame #Workplace #EQ #IQ #shame #Creativity