We don’t know what we don’t know. As we work and do our normal routine we fall into patterns and roles where we’re comfortable. Maybe you’re better doing the behind the scenes work while the people you work with are better at the customer facing interactions. We become specialists in what we do and perfect the methods and skills that we use to do it. While this helps us create a reliable system it discourages us to look at the whole and we miss the details of what is happening in the areas we aren’t a part of.
The challenge is to take the time and swap roles with the people you work with. The next time you’re working with a team that you normally work with do the role you never do instead of the one you always do. By experiencing it from another angle you’ll learn more than you could ever learn by doing it the “normal” way. It will be uncomfortable and it won’t be as smooth as it normally is but if you work through it you’ll be able to see a whole new world; a different flow to the activity, different perspectives on how things work, things that you never even thought could be a part of it. Then you’ll be able to take what you learned about the whole and see how the parts interact and apply it back to your normal work. For a single time of uncertainty you can improve the norm and improve the system as a whole. So the next time you feel comfortable swap roles with those you work with and feel uncomfortable to learn more.