For many people, especially those early in their careers, it’s tempting to believe that we need to know everything about insurance – or at least pretend that we do – to be successful. Many believe that admitting ignorance undermines their authority or damages the trust they’ve built with colleagues and clients. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The simple fact is that insurance is a massive, complex subject. None of us can know everything. Pretending we do only risks embarrassment, or worse, real harm to a client. But acknowledging how much we still have to learn actually helps build trust and respect. When we do …
We become teachable.
Lifetime learning is essential in the insurance business. It’s why the states require licensees to complete continuing education. New products and regulations come along all the time. But you can’t teach someone who already “knows it all.” Acknowledging our need, and willingness, to learn invites others to share their knowledge with us.
We reduce our stress.
While we all need to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones to grow, consistently working outside your areas of competency is a sure recipe for stress – even if everything works out. And that’s nothing to the stress we experience if others (especially state regulators) catch us in a mistake!
We have the opportunity to acknowledge the expertise of others.
John Donne famously said, “No man is an island.” Asking for and accepting help is a great way to develop our personal and professional relationships. There have been so many people that Arleen and I relied on to help us achieve the success we have – from early mentors to our team in Texas to our friend and neighbor, JLD. Be sure to give credit where credit is due, and you’ve created a great foundation for mutual respect.
So relax. Enjoy the learning experience and the real rewards it brings, both personally and professionally. Never stop learning!