feeling stupid is irrelevant

so many of my clients have a difficult time admitting when they don’t know some thing. This often leads to missing opportunities or not succeeding at some thing. And that seems pretty silly to me, especially when there’s a legitimate and real solution right there. Ask the professor. Ask your boss. Check in with a colleague. Ask your dad. Phone a friend. If you need the information to move forward being embarrassed is a relevant.

I’m going to a conference in a couple of weeks. It’s a super academic affair mostly for doctors. There were multiple words on the itineraries that I had to look up. And then I had to send the following email to one of the organizers.


Hi I have a couple more summer embarrassing questions about the conference in a couple of weeks. I am not particularly well-versed in the academic jargon of professional conferences. So here goes…

  • Just presidential opening address and opening reception include food? Is there a suggested dress code?
  • Unless an item specifically says, “invitation only” it’s fair game for everybody, right?
  • Here are a couple concurrent presentations that I’m really interested in. Will recordings be available? What is a poster data blitz and how is it different from a poster tour? 
  • Lastly, can you tell me what the special interest groups are all about? Are they invitation only? Can you go to more than one? What is the happy hour all about?

Thanks in advance, Matt

There was a time in my life when I would have put off sending this email because it made me feel uncomfortable that I didn’t know these things already. Thankfully, I have moved past that point in my life and I just don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about me. And that’s really helpful. Because I’m gonna get the answers to these questions and be able to have a much better and lower stress conference experience