As we go through the day, we often find ourselves seeking advice. We seek advice because the problems we face are at the edge of our experience or touch on our insecurities. To compensate we turn to our friends, colleagues, and mentors, each of which is uniquely positioned to offer expertise.
Seeking advice provides us a more comprehensive understanding of our troubles. It allows us to prioritize the undervalued, to accommodate the ignored, and to travel hidden paths. By incorporating expert perspectives, we often produce a more optimal solution than we could on our own.
When we seek outside perspectives, there is one source we often ignore: people we do not like. They are the contrarians, the hotheads, the loud mouths, the ill-informed, and the unsympathetic at the edges of our social circles. Regardless of how they get under our skin … they just do. But we ignore them at our own peril.
“A broken clock is right twice a day.”
Do not dismiss someone’s advice simply because they have a history of being wrong, or of offering advice which you do not follow. Rather, seek the advice of these “broken clocks” precisely because they have perspectives which do not exist among your friends, colleagues, and mentors. They may be wrong, and their advice may be inapplicable to your situation. But sometimes – just like a broken clock – they will provide you with an unassailable truth.
Make it a great day, dear educator, and keep an eye out for broken clocks.