The curse of knowledge

Published: Aug 16 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

I want you to try a little experiment.

Think of a simple tune. Something like Happy Birthday to You. (The most performed song in the English language, incidentally).

Now find a colleague, friend or partner and tap out the song for them without telling them the name of the song.

Do it once. Then do it again. And now once more for luck.

Ask them to name the song. Chances are they will have not got a clue. (If they have check that you didn't mouth out the song by accident).

You have just witnessed for yourself the concept of the curse of knowledge.

Because you know what you are doing and tapping you find it almost incomprehensible that the person you are tapping it out for doesn't get it.  I first came across this phenomenon in the fantastic book by Chip and Dan Heath called Made to Stick. I have referenced this book a number of times in previous Blogs and if you haven't read it yet, you should.

But when I read it I recognized it straight away from my observations of negotiators.

Often in the real world negotiators enter into dialogue assuming that the other side knows what they want, that they understand their motives and KPI's what will float their or their organization's boat.

Maybe they will often they won't.

Being very clear about what you want and what is important to you gives you a much greater chance of getting it.

Might be better to tell them rather than tap it out.

Alan Smith


SHARE

blogAuthor

About the author:

Alan Smith
No bio is currently avaliable

Latest Blog:

Runaway?

“We can’t sign an annual contract”. That was the bad news from our newly acquired client. We fought hard and beat out 8 other agencies to win this business from a highly sought after top tier brand. Unfortunately, things started to go awry before we even got started because they wouldn’t agree to our standard terms. We faced the difficult choice of either walking away or doing something we haven’t done.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork North America



Canada
973.428.1991
usa@scotwork.com
Follow us