Identify and then eliminate your “unknown unknowns”

As you may already know, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham introduced a concept in 1955 that they aptly characterized as “the unknown unknowns.” That is, ignorance of one’s ignorance.

This is is probably what Mark Twain had in mind when observing, ” It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Yes, it is very important to recognize what our specific knowledge needs are, relevant to the given situation.

It is even more important to recognize that we may think we know — but in fact do not know — especially what needs to be known when a serious question must be answered or a serious problem must be solved.

The first step is to separate facts from opinions.

The next step is to verify the facts.

Only then can we formulate an enlightened decision based on those facts.




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