Doc, ever notice how some highly skilled folks have zero tolerance toward others without similar skills? It’s called Curse of knowledge Aud… behavior where well-informed individuals fail to recognize that less informed folks may need expanded explanations and training drills. Professionals and aspiring leaders lacking excellent communication skills find curse of knowledge a major challenge in accepting learning barriers colleagues and students face. By not recognizing curse of knowledge’s existence… frustration and misunderstanding are common obstacles to effective communication in every case.
A simple example of curse of knowledge bias involves the game of charades. Pantomiming players are frequently baffled by teammates consistently failing to guess the secret phrase they are trying to express without visual aids. In business and education Curse of knowledge takes a significant toll. For instance, managers often assign projects to unprepared staff leading to frustration and failed outcomes while teachers frequently gather student assessment data from personal perspectives without considering the student’s point of view or ultimate goal.
Regardless of an individual’s skill or knowledge Curse of knowledge bias is universal. There’s a belief that what’s known is simple for others to grasp without rehearsal. A common example is when the question… do you understand is asked? When no one raises a hand for fear of intimidation… the questioner thinks all is well… since any reservations seem unmasked. Sharing knowledge requires controlling curse of knowledge in all we do and say. Leaders should seriously consider that their subject familiarity can hinder an explanation’s path of clarity in nearly every single way.
When it comes to curse of knowledge information already known seems simple for others to grasp. To avoid what follows as the inevitable unprepared lost stare and worried gasp… it’s a Funny Feeling to know when instructions are given… time is needed to learn and dwell… when learning time isn’t recognized… outcomes will certainly fail under a negative communication spell.
Copyright Alan P. Xenakis, MD, Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings ©
Curse of Knowledge Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings©