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Today, some people suffer from “Specialist Syndrome” and the first symptoms can be easily perceived through their profiles on social networks and by observing the growing offer of online courses, from the most diverse areas, on platforms such as Hotmart, for example. Such individuals put themselves in the position of “experts” as Fernando Moreira, founder of Angry Ventures, portrayed in this blog post. They forget to learn, unlearn and relearn.
What many do not grasp is that the market is changing. Increasingly, organizations, in general, are seeking adaptable professionals – that is – people who understand everything a little and who, in a way, know how to deal with changes that the quick-fire world in which we live demands presently.
Over and over again there is talk of soft skills, also known as personal skills, which are nothing more than the behavioral and subjective skills that each person develops throughout life. Some of them are related to the ability to work collaboratively, demonstrate flexibility in the work environment, have effective communication, exercising leadership, and learn/unlearn.
Right now, I will go deeper into the preceding example mentioned: the learning/unlearning process.
Learning to learn … and why not unlearn too?
When observing the development of a child of only a few months old, it is quite noticeable, for us adults, the evolution of one’s learning. This is because, mentally, the child is open to receiving new information and curiosity leads them to question (when they are older) and subsequently to a possible understanding. Some parents are uncomfortable with so many “whys” – but the way they react by answering these questions can directly influence the child’s upbringing. As a result, they may feel even more motivated to ask or simply withdraw and take it to future life steps or feel the exact opposite.
It turns out that over time, in the individual’s training process, one receives a load of beliefs from various sources. It comes mainly from family, school, and friends who can influence positively or negatively in their decisions (as the one mentioned above), about the simple fact of asking and having a satisfactory answer or being blocked by “asking too much.”
These beliefs can also be related to personal (psychological), social or philosophical issues. Consider the example below.
Joe is a very outgoing and creative person, but he has difficulties working collectively since he was a child. He is then quite judged by his colleagues, who have no idea how much some of his family members “get on his nerves” to avoid friendship groups, stating that he cannot lose focus on his larger goals.
Joe spent 17 years of his life hearing that groups of people would exert a negative influence on his life and changing was not in his plans – because he didn’t even perceive or see the need.
He admired a lot and was willing to do anything to be hired until he found himself in a selection process for his first job at a startup. After several tests, the company’s founders gave him a chance – but what he did not know was that the methodology used for the management of the team was very collaborative, which would “require” him to work with members from the most diverse areas of the company.
You must be wondering why Joe, with such a profile, was hired in a selection by a company that totally preaches the opposite of what he represents. The reasons may have been diverse, but I invite you to believe that:
- He showed a lot of humility and a willingness to learn – challenging himself to get out of his comfort zone.
- The startup founders saw an opportunity to shape him, guiding him to change that perception.
Two incredible professionals deal with the topic in question brilliantly. One is the Brazilian Michele Schneider, a speaker at TEDx FAAP, who talks about the professional of the future and how some works may or may not be replaced by technology. And one of the skills she cites is learning to unlearn – it looks confusing, but I’ll explain.
Learning to unlearn is nothing more than the ability to reinvent yourself every day, getting rid of the manias and beliefs that keep you from doing new things and further intensify the “Expert Syndrome” aforementioned.
Learning how to learn, a term commented at the beginning of the text, is the ability to practice self-teaching and seek help when necessary from external sources. Nowadays, it is much easier to learn about any topic because everything is online, but knowing how to filter the relevance of the content is also a point to be considered.
The other professional who talks about a subject and is worth mentioning is Murilo Gun, Keep Learning School founder, which offers the Creative Relearning course – where he states the main blocks and beliefs that we learn during life that prevent us from evolving and mainly learning. He quotes a quite exciting phrase and refers to what was mentioned about childhood: “We are born creative, but with time we stop being.”
The importance of being open to the new and self-knowledge
In other words, we were born open to the new, but we received so many limitations and blocks even from those we love and live with more of that, unfortunately. We ended up leading to adult life, and therefore, to our work relationships.
Therefore, the process of self-knowledge is crucial. First, realize what needs to be changed beforehand, so those around you see the best that can you can offer. Certainly, one of the most striking characteristics and it will hardly be replaced by artificial intelligence, is to be open to learning and forget (unlearn) what does not add to your life.
Indeed, this will be one of the skills that will differentiate professionals from now on, especially given the context in which we are placed – a pandemic – in which changes are happening faster than normal. So be open to the “new normal” and the demands it brings with it.
If you made it this far, don’t forget to check the blog post commented on the beginning about the so-called experts.