2nd Order Ignorance


Every now and then, as I walk home I'm thinking to myself: "Dušan, you were really too aggressive at today's meeting", or "I really shouldn't have made that nasty remark", or "I really should learn more about MongoDB or colleagues will call my bluff", or "I really should skip the second ice cream to keep my weight at bay". Each of us have some shortcomings that he's aware of and is trying to overcome with varying degrees of success. Personally, I'm not worried very much about these matters. I consider myself quite disciplined and I'm therefore confident that given some time I'll resolve all the deficiencies that I'm aware of by myself. What I'm really worried about in my life are things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Overcoming second order ignorance about your own deficiencies requires more than just passive analysis of your actions and resulting response of the environment. It requires you to put yourself in new situations and to actively challenge your environment in new ways. One technique to do so that's gaining popularity lately is 360-degree feedback. I have no experience with this technique yet, but I'm currently contemplating how to approach it in a lightweight way without excessive bureaucracy. If you happen to have some experience with this technique yourself, I'll be grateful for a comment or two.