John Maxwell’s blogs are an excellent resource in learning leadership best practices.  Many managers & leaders will never say “I don’t know” … as it may make them seem weak, but there is a way to still effectively admit/learn while showing leadership & direction – by placing confidence that team will arrive at the right answers.

5 Ways to Leverage the Three Most Unused Words in Leadership (

Teachable leaders raise the level of engagement on their teams by inviting everyone on the team to contribute. You raise the level of relevance of each person by showing that even though you have a point of view, you welcome theirs.  Here are five tips for becoming and remaining teachable.

    1. Celebrate that you are not the smartest person in the room, even if you actually may be the smartest person in the room. Enter every room knowing that you can learn something from every person there. This will raise your level of authenticity, which will attract others to you and your cause.
    2. Increase your curiosity. Stop accepting that everything is as it appears. Become curious about how and why things work. Challenge the norms. Inquire about the details. Be interested in what others have to say.
    3. Be receptive to new ideas. It is easy to be trapped in groupthink and not be receptive to new ideas or other people’s views. Embrace diversity of thought and diversity of culture. Be receptive to ideas and points of view that are different from your own.
    4. Ask great questions. Stop talking about yourself, your views, and your opinions. Instead, ask great questions of others. People love to answer questions about their views and opinions, so ask! Use your curiosity (point 2) and ask meaningful questions to aid you in learning as much as you can in the time available. 
    5. Listen with the intent to understand. The greatest gift you can give to another person is actively listening when they are speaking. A good listener will ask good questions that will lead to a complete understanding of the points being made. Poor listeners hear with the sole intention of responding and moving the discussion back to themselves. Listen and learn.

John Maxwell said, “Teachability is not so much about competence and mental capacity as it is about attitude. It is the desire to listen, learn, and apply. It is a hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Take note of your attitude when it comes to listening, learning, discovering, and growing.  Are you a teachable person? Try saying, “I don’t know,” from time to time and see if you can increase the overall intelligence level on your team.