BEWARE OF THE CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE
By Coach Lorne McAlister
Now what kind of a ding-dong warning is that?
Is it a proverb worth putting into the tool box?
Cervantes defines proverbs as “short sentences drawn from long experience.”
So what do we do with “beware of the curse of knowledge”?
The curse of knowledge describes that zone when, where, you know and others don’t know. We forget; they don’t know this. We then are fried at worst and frustrated at best because we forget to remember; they don’t know this. Beware of the curse of knowledge! We start to forget what it’s like not to know what we already know.
The curse of knowledge is that we default to processing life like everybody knows what we know. This info gap creates communication frustration.
Making something simple can seem like “dumbing down”. That’s the curse of knowledge. Communicators have to decide. Do I want to impress or inform?
Effective, genius communicators use the simple words when the simple words convey the big idea. You might want people to think you sound like you swallowed a dictionary. That’s probably all they will be thinking though. Keep Is Simple Stupid; KISS smacks home the point.
My growing edge is that hot spot where my knowledge ends and my ignorance begins. When you hook into me at this knowledge navel, I’m ready to go and grow with you. When you tell me what I know, I’m bored - right now. When you try to tell what I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about, I disconnect, bamboozled by your brain but still dumb as a mushroom. When you find that magic spot when my knowledge ends and walk me forward with words I know and at a pace I can go, then flexing forward and stretching outward happens. I live and learn and love it.
The curse of knowledge is that we forget; they don’t know this. So take a little time, be a little patient, ask another question, find out what is and isn’t known and then begin there with what you have to say.
In coaching we engage the process by asking permission. Can we talk about this?
The big thing to remember about your coach is that they don’t need to know what you know. They are not experts in your field. You know; I don’t have to know. Your coach is going to prod you with the question - “so what do you want to do with this concept, this competency, this company?”
The curse of knowledge doesn’t neutralize coaching. Great Coaching happens in spite of this unbelievable data spread. Coaching is simply going forward with what you know.
AN ACTION QUESTION FROM COACH LORNE
How are you going to remind yourself to lead gently at times because other's don't know what you know, they don't feel what you feel and they don't want what you want?