In the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” it is a child who cries out that the emperor is naked. Up until that moment, everyone else had gone along with the charade, having been told that the suit is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions or incompetent.
The moral of the story translates well to the workplace: Listen to novices, as their fresh eyes can provide insights that you are unable to see. Young staffers or those who have recently joined your business may see things that are odd, wrong or could be done differently.
Another way to see things through beginner’s eyes is reverse mentoring. Pair yourself with a rookie. Make it safe for the rookie to speak her mind. Then listen.
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