"Ignorant" is Not an Insult
Being ignorant is morally neutral.
Ignorant is a loaded word, to be sure, and I don't recommend referring to your colleague this way. However, I want to try to reclaim the term from the land of insults and redefine it as simply a descriptor of reality, and a helpful one at that.
Being ignorant means you're self-aware, and therefore less likely to harm others with unearned confidence.
Being ignorant means you're human, and there are limitations to your knowledge. There's no shame in acknowledging that.
Being ignorant means you're humble. It is impossible to learn what you already think you know, and remaining a life-long learner is a sustainable competitive advantage.
Of course, being ignorant can also mean that you're unqualified and unwilling to put in the work. So there's that too. Beware the person who refuses to acknowledge their ignorance or seems especially disinterested in addressing it.
As leaders, it's our responsibility to be self-aware of our limitations and work diligently to either close the gap or staff around them.
Being ignorant is morally neutral. Choosing what to do with that fact makes all the difference.
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