“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters-don’t wish to seem knowledgeable. And if some regard you as important, distrust yourself.”
-Epictetus, Enchiridion, 13a
When you don’t understand something even slightly ask the seemingly “obvious” question.
Always shut up and listen when someone has more value to add to the conversation. Let them talk.
Try and learn from everyone you can. A lot of people will not open up unless you lead them to there with good questions.
Practice conversation generosity. Get genuinely interested in what the other person has to say, you never know what you may take away.
When networking keep in mind the price of not conversing with that next person may be a million-dollar idea.
Never become complacent. Especially with your own knowledge.
Sam Walton the founder and former CEO of Wal-Mart later in his life was arrested in Brazil on a trip for being on his hands and knees in a store measuring the width of an aisle. His commitment for curiosity was incredible and that’s what made him who he was. He never felt entitled or as if he knew everything.
Sam Walton was a guy who embodied all of these principals. His autobiography Sam Walton: Made In America is brilliant and worth a read.