The Principles of Playing Dumb
Wisdom for Today
· The principle of playing dumb is all about balance and instinct. The balancing happens when you want your customer to acknowledge and appreciate your high level of accomplishment and competence in your area of expertise without appearing threatening, condescending, or arrogant. The sad fact is that a few white males are still threatened by an articulate, highly educated, and ambitious women or minority professional. Some feel so threatened that they may not even engage a minority-owned business in contract opportunities.
· Playing dumb does not mean belittling yourself or not using all your skills. Instead, it means putting the need of your customer fist. For example, when helping your customer fist. For example, when helping your customer to solve a problem, put your best resources on the problem to solve it quickly, understand the politics of your customer's environment and his predicament, present the solution to your customers (make sure the solution is through), then step back and let the customer lead.
· The wisdom in these situations is that you must learn when to let people know how smart you are and when to "play dumb," not "be dumb."