Don’t be a Know-It-All!

Know-it-alls show up everywhere, don’t they? At work, around the community, in politics, in the church, and even at home.

Know-it-alls share two common characteristics: They always think they are right and always want their way. They may look and sound like leaders, but in the end, it is all about them and their goals. They are not team players and are challenging to work with.


Okay, I’ll admit, I tend to be one myself. It is far too easy to see things from my perspective. I’ve often thought everything would go so well if people just did what I asked them to do! Ha! Ha!

The Bible says that we are never to lead on our own. We all need others – co-laborers that work together. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”

Recently Dan Rockwell wrote a blog entitled, No One of Us Is as Smart as All of Us.  It is a simple, common sense fact – we don’t know it all. We need the input of others. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I knew best, but when I took the time to listen and reconsider others’ advice, I realized I was wrong (or somewhat wrong 🙂 ).

Here are Dan Rockwell’s three suggestions for being a team player rather than a know-it-all.

#1  Face the facts.

The people around you already know you don’t know everything. People don’t buy it when you act like you have all the answers. They know you don’t. There’s no shame in admitting you aren’t perfect. In fact, it will demonstrate vulnerability and help you earn their trust.

#2 Ask for help.

When you have a problem to solve, let your people know you need their suggestions. Involving people in decision-making is smart—and the best way to respect people’s experiences and insight.

#3 Respect contribution.

Worried that some team members are thinking of joining the “Great Resignation”? Acknowledge their hard work and explain why their role is important.

When people feel valued, they think less about jumping ship. You know how much you need everyone on your team. So tell them. Treat them as partners. Let them know you value their strengths and their input.


What about you? Are you a team player or a know-it-all? How can we be more open to the wise counsel of others? Love to hear from you!  

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