Today I’m talking about something I call temporary incompetence. What’s that? Well, stay with me and I’ll tell you. I’ll also tell you how it helps you in your work. But first I’ll tell you about my vacation. (Trust me, it’ll all make sense in the end.)
A little while ago I went on a two week vacation with my family to Brazil. It was a great trip, and I had a phenomenal time. On our very first day, we went to a little cafe on the streets of Rio de Janeiro looking for some snacks and drinks. The process of ordering snacks and drinks turned into a small adventure of its own because we didn’t know a lot of things about ordering in a cafe in Rio de Janeiro.
What we didn’t know:
1 The language
2 The system
3 How to order
4 How to pay
Because we didn’t know these things, my family and I were what I call temporarily incompetent. We were temporarily incompetent at ordering snacks.
Of course, it all turned out in the end. It ended up being an awesome adventure and one of my fondest memories from the trip.
The idea of temporary incompetence doesn’t only apply to situations in a cafe in Brazil, it also applies to your jobs at the office. A lot of things change at the office, whether it be a new system, new software, new regulations, or a different sales process.
Nobody wants change. If you have ever experienced any of these changes or other similar ones, and freaked out a little, you aren’t alone. We don’t want changes because we might be really good at the old system, we might be slow at learning things, and we don’t want to be temporarily incompetent. Nobody likes the feeling of incompetence, even temporarily. I sure don’t. But actually,
experiencing temporary incompetence can help us.
So what’s the difference with changes at the office and finding yourself in a sticky situation while you’re on vacation? The difference is only in our head. Feeling incompetent shakes us up, stresses us out, blasts us out of our rut. And that’s good. Who wants unending sameness? We all need shaking up on a temporary basis. It’s good for our psyche, it’s good for our brain, and it’s good for our self-confidence. Because it’s temporary. And then we become competent again. The only way we grow is through change. The only way we’re motivated to change is through temporary incompetence.
Here’s what we all need to do when we find ourselves freaking out over the changes at the office:
1. Change our perspective
2. Relish the challenge of change
3. Embrace the change
Change is difficult. However, change is needed. It is how you stay ahead of the competition, it can bring advantages, flexibility and confidence. And, as I learned during my Brazilian cafe adventure, being temporarily incompetent can be kind of fun.
While he isn’t exploring the streets of Brazil, Brad Montgomery is a professional speaker that uses humor, story and passion to engage with his audiences. Call today to get a free consultation!