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Phony to Phenom: How to Sidestep Impostor Syndrome

May 25, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT

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In this salon, Peter Williams will explore tactics to reclaim your conversational confidence and evade impostor syndrome.

We’ve all felt like a dummy before. When you’re part of an interesting, intelligent, interdisciplinary group it can seem like a daily occurrence. 👀

“In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty” – Robert M. Pirsig

Studies have shown that upwards of 70% of people experience impostor syndrome in one or more parts of their lives. We feel ashamed because we jump to the conclusion that we’re the only one. But if you muster the courage to show your vulnerability, you will find that the majority is on your side, and you can make deeper connections with the Actual Experts too!

Instead of pivoting to small talk, or shrinking into the margins, pounce on the opportunity provided to you. Moments like this are the crucible of intellectual growth. Experts are right there, and they want to teach you. Let them!

Let your raw curiosity guide your questions. Find an interesting thread and don’t stop pulling. Even if all you can be is ‘happy to be there’, let it shine.

“Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points” – Kevin Kelly

Dumb questions don’t pull down the level of conversation. If used correctly, they build the necessary structure to discuss on even footing. Pause to think, ask them to clarify, or try to restate the points. Trying to explain their ideas in the context of what you know, might just be the breakthrough they were looking for.

“smart people ask dumb questions…that’s how they got smart”Zubin Koticha

In this Interintellect Salon, we will try to answer all of the dumb questions about dumb questions, and hopefully walk away smarter for it. We hope you can join us.

Questions we hope to ponder:

  • How can we take ourselves less seriously without causing others to do the same?
  • What are the right kind of dumb questions to ask?
  • Can you gamify conversation to get out of your head without losing focus?
  • How can we identify when the tables are turned? And what can we do to be more inclusive?

Reference List:


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May 25, 2021
10:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT
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Peter Williams