10 Reasons to Share Your Knowledge
by Elle Werle
Knowledge is what drives every organization. We all know what happens when we silo it and make it difficult to access. You wind up with frustrated teams, an imbalance and bottleneck of information, and chaos ensues.
Organizations Are Better When You Share Your Knowledge
Sharing your knowledge is the easiest way to cause an organization to run smoother. Think about it: you have dozens, hundred, maybe thousands of employees each with their own brilliant ideas, minds, training, and backgrounds.
Imagine what can be done when people work together within an organization. There are so many benefits. We outline ten below:
10 Reasons to Share Your Knowledge
1. Close the Skills Gaps
Any team is only as strong as its weakest member. When new people and junior members have access to conversations about decisions and procedures, important knowledge is shared and new skills are acquired.
It’s up to you to create an environment where all feel encouraged to ask questions. Ask everyone for their opinions and ideas – not just the execs and directors. Close skills gaps by sharing knowledge with your colleagues and your customers.
2. Create a Sense of Purpose
I would bet that most of us can agree that we prefer to feel a sense of purpose in our work than not to. Nobody wants to grind away doing work that feels pointless each and every day. We universally seek a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives, work, relationships, and more.
This is a great thing in a work environment. Create an environment where people feel like they make a difference when they share their knowledge and ideas. People will have the opportunity to see how their work impacts the bigger picture of the organization. This is key! Help your employees create a sense of purpose by sharing their knowledge, and acknowledging it.
Give people an open platform to share. Keep in mind that different people are comfortable sharing information in different ways. For example, maybe reconsider requiring people to share feedback by grabbing a microphone and sharing in front of a live audience. Give everyone a chance to share their ideas, whether discreetly or not.
3. Increase Operational Productivity and Efficiency
This is one of the top goals of every organization. Yet how often do we acknowledge that sharing your knowledge is one of the best ways to make it happen! Increase team productivity and work smarter (not harder) when everyone puts their minds together.
Give colleagues easy access to internal (and external) expertise and resources. Create Knowledge Bases that are easily searchable and reliably up-to-date. You will be amazed at how smoothly projects go and silos disappear.
4. To Look Good
People want to look good and appear intelligent in front of others. We all do this, and the technical term for it is called “impression management.” In the workplace we have a natural tendency to want to share our knowledge and expertise – and we should! Lean into this inclination and share your knowledge with your team, your boss, colleague, whoever.
This benefits everyone. Not only do you get to shine like the expert in your field that you are, but everyone who hears your message gets to join in the benefit of knowing it. Or considering it, if you are brainstorming ideas.
Every time you share input it will serve you well, regardless of the outcome of your sharing the input. In other words, what you say doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. Just say it.
If you are nervous that people will have a negative reaction, consider how many times that has actually happened when other people said something silly. Did it end their career? Do people think less of them for it? Chances are, that’s not the case. Go for it!
5. Become a Future Leaders
If you want to create an impact and make a difference – within your organization or not- you will need people to notice you. When you share your knowledge you will accomplish just that.
Think back in history about how many boardrooms were and are filled with old, white men. How many of the same ideas have been brought to the table for decades or more on end because no one else was at the table?! Be at that table. Better yet, speak up at that table.
Leaders and inspirations can’t live in their own minds. They must share their ideas in order to make the world a better place.
6. To Persuade Others
You’ve almost certainly shared your knowledge to persuade others in the past. You learned this at a young age because it works. Being educated about a topic is great information to share with others when you want them to form an opinion about it.
A lot of times we share information in order to feel good. It feels good for others to share the same opinions we do.
7. To Connect and Bond
Sharing information bonds humans together today just as it has for millenia. It is often the case that we enjoy talking to each other and exchanging information. If you look back on your life, you probably enjoyed several opportunities to share your knowledge.
An article from the American Psychological Association explains it this way:
“Without that instinct to share the latest on a friend, peer or family member, there would be no sophisticated society, Dunbar claims, suggesting that societies depend on the individual’s ability to rely on others and understand something of the workings of another’s mind.”
In other words, we need to talk to each other! We like it because we need it.
8. To Help and Teach
You have the power to teach others everything you know when you share your knowledge. This is so valuable at work! We have all been that indispensable person who knew all the processes and “secrets” at work. This is really dangerous because it puts a lot of pressure and creates an imbalance of information.
Ultimately you want everyone on the team to know the best processes and most effective workflows. Do this by having that indispensable person (or people!) create video tutorials and SOPs for their respective teams.
Each individual has unique ideas and attributes to bring to the team. When you can capture those unique ideas and share them quickly and reliably, everyone learns and is better off for it.
9. Learn From the Best
How often are we surrounded by industry veterans, teeming with knowledge and insight, but never get the chance to really benefit from that? Very often in our jobs we are surrounded by astounding experts in their fields. It makes sense to compile the best of what everyone knows and to share it!
Organizations hire for the best expertise, and people work hard to learn that knowledge and love to be recognized for it. Share your knowledge so we can learn from each other, share expertise, and sharpen everyone’s skills.
10. To Feel Good
As we’ve mentioned a few times already, it feels good to share your knowledge! We like to talk to people and help them out. It’s natural, and it’s a great thing.