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Share What You Know

By Jun 17,2017 Follow Me on Google+

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Summary
Information is the most important thing you can possess; the more you share information with your colleagues, the more they in turn will share information with you. Never try to protect information, but share it freely lest others move away from you in favor of others more giving with their information. When you withhold information from others, you inhibit your own growth; the more you share, the more others will reciprocate.

Every interaction you have with another person is a chance to make a difference in that person’s life. Every piece of information you have about the world is unique to you. The more you share this information with others, the more others will share information with you. In addition, when you share information, you will be sought out by others.

I’ve noticed many, many people are extremely concerned about protecting every single piece of helpful information, such as a certain way of making a sale in business, a good source of information, a contact who can get things done, or a special method of doing something.

The people and the companies that do the best, I have noticed, are those that do everything they can to share information. In fact, they empower people by sharing information. By doing this, a reciprocal pattern is developed. When there is useful information these people should know about, they are told about it as well.

The most important thing you can have inside a company and at work is information. You may be working for a company right now that is about to file for bankruptcy and lay off all of its employees. If you had this information, you could be looking for a job. There may be an incredible position opening up in your company for which you’re qualified. If you had this information, you could start communicating and getting to know the right people inside your company. The benefits of having the right information are huge. Your work colleagues will seek you out to give you information if you start sharing information with them. You need to proactively be a source of information and never try to protect information. Every piece of information you put out in the world will come back to you with more information.

The information others give you could save your career, or get you a raise. There are so many benefits to having access to the right information it’s hard to list them all. Information tells you what to do in order to get ahead. The only way you are going to get access to this sort of information, however, is if you get a reputation for sharing information yourself.

What

 job title, keywords

Where

 city, state, zip



A couple of years ago I learned Mark Victor Hansen, the author of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul, was holding a three day business conference at the Westin near the Los Angeles Airport. A couple of people who’d written books I enjoyed were scheduled to be there and I was eager to attend.

When I got to the conference I immediately noticed huge rows of tables in the halls where vendors were set up, selling various courses. I’d arrived at the conference a bit early and walked from table to table talking to the vendors. In most cases, they were selling courses that cost anywhere from $495 all the way up to a few thousand dollars.

The conference was organized so that each speaker would speak with the audience for about an hour. The topics the speakers discussed were about things like ”How to double your business in 90 days” and ”How to make everyone in the world buy your products.” After a few hours, I quickly realized each of the speakers was offering the audience a small bit of information, but basically they were not giving us any substantial information whatsoever. They were only giving the audience a little taste of what they knew.

Each speaker would get up and tell the audience how smart he was and how valuable what he knew was. Then he would give people in the audience a small peek at the knowledge he had. This took about 40 minutes of the speaker’s time. Then, for the next 20 minutes, the speaker would launch into a sales presentation about CD ROMs of him talking on tape, exclusive access to them via teleconference, and more.

About two days into it I realized how ridiculous I was being. I was at a conference basically being given little information and sold the promise of more information for a couple of days straight. I like Mark Victor Hansen and think he seems like a nice man, but I went to his seminar to gain information. In the end I felt like the seminar was all about trying to sell me more information.

This dynamic is very common in the world. In fact, there are tons of people who refuse to share the information they have with others. They fear if people get hold of the same information they have, they will gain an unfair advantage over them.

At the conference, what happened is that even if you purchased a set of CDs from one of the speakers, he or she would still try to sell you more and more. I enjoyed one of the speakers a great deal and after he spoke I went up to him and told him I liked his talk. He encouraged me to purchase a set of CD ROMs and workbook from him for $3,000, essentially saying ”If you liked my talk so much then purchase my set of CDs and workbook.”

I told him that was fine but I was interested in having him consult for one of our companies. This person had a very good background in sales and I thought he could really make a difference if he analyzed one of the companies I was running at the time that specialized in student loans. He said sure, and a couple of days later called me.

He told me that for $35,000 he would do extensive interviews and write a report about the company and the improvements it needed. I agreed.

A few days before he was scheduled to complete the report he called me and said for an additional $5,000 and travel expenses he would present the report live. I discussed this with someone in our company and this person suggested we should go visit the guru to get the report personally. When I suggested this to the speaker, he said that this would not work because he worked out of his home. We agreed to have him come to our offices and give the presentation live.

The presentation he gave offered some interesting insights into our business but for the most part it was just another sales pitch. He was essentially trying to get control over various resources in our company to set up businesses using our people and make us give him a percentage of the revenue. In addition, he proposed what he called ”CEO Coaching” at $5,000 an hour in 40-hour increments. I did not buy anything. What had happened, of course, was he’d used the knowledge he’d gained through his research to try to sell us more and in addition was holding back even more knowledge for a proposed ”coaching engagement.”

It is not a good idea in business, or in your professional life, to hold back knowledge. You need to make people aware of what you know and put information out there to try to help others do well as quickly as you can. The more you teach others how to do something, the better you’ll end up becoming at what you do.

Another damaging dynamic set up by people who hold back what they know is others pick up on this and know you’re not really interested in helping them. When every action you take is calculated and every piece of information you put out there is carefully apportioned, you are constantly guarding the fort instead of providing value to others. You need to be constantly providing value and not holding it back. When you are constantly holding back, people will choose to deal with others who are willing to provide more information and value than you.

When you are holding information back all the time and not sharing what you know, you start viewing every interaction you have with other people in a competitive sort of way. Your goal is to be on guard and only exchange information if it suits your best interest and you feel like you can get ahead. You need to be seen as someone who will freely provide the information needed to assist others and who will always be there to help.

You should volunteer information about how to do something if you see a co-worker doing something incorrectly, or if you’ve discovered a better way to do something. The more you volunteer information, the more people will look out for you and assist you with information as well.

The smallest piece of information you learn could make a giant difference in the overall course of your career. It is the same with the information you share with others. Many people are stuck in a rut of sorts and believe if they share information with others, those people will somehow think less of them, or the information they share will somehow diminish its value. When you do not share information with others you are preventing yourself from achieving personal growth.

You never want your personal agenda to become an obstacle to your progress. There are many people in the world who do everything they can to preserve their superiority in the eyes of others, and sharing information, they fear, will threaten this superiority. The truth is that the more information you share, the more people will come to you to reciprocate. Being on the receiving end of information is where you want to be.

THE LESSON

Information is the most important thing you can possess; the more you share information with your colleagues, the more they in turn will share information with you. Never try to protect information, but share it freely lest others move away from you in favor of others more giving with their information. When you withhold information from others, you inhibit your own growth; the more you share, the more others will reciprocate.

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  • Absolutely. I try to do this with my clients, and have done this with fellow employees, and my employers have even done it. Sharing information is one of the most effective way to build trust in relationships, because it demonstrates trust. This can happen on a personal level, or on a corporate level. I actually learned it first-hand from one company I worked for. This company had an outstanding reputation among their audience (not just their customers) of being highly knowledgeable, and was willing to give that knowledge freely to people for their benefit. I think it is because the founders understood the value of helping people. At one point, after the founders had become less involved, the company decided it was “leaving money on the table” (that’s a direct quote!), and began taking away the free exchange of information in favor of charging a fee for consulting, special services, training, “how-to” classes, etc. In time, business weakened, and surveys and focus groups I had the privilege to help conduct revealed that although many customers had remained loyal, the relationship had become strained. Trust had diminished because people knew the company had information that would be helpful to them, but had decided to “hold out on them” (again, a direct quote from a respondent) – for money. People understood what was going on, and when information and help was withheld by the company, business was ultimately withheld by the customer. When the company realized this, they began to change back to something closer to the original approach of free exchange of information. The the damage was eventually repaired to a large degree, and the company remains strong. Another example is a company that had always been reluctant to share information because they were always afraid it would be turned into knock-off products produced in other parts of the world, and sold for less, undercutting their business. This was not imagined – some products had in fact been copied and were on the market. However, having learned from the experience of the first company, and believing wholeheartedly in the principle myself, I was able to convince the company to begin sharing more information in the form of case studies and applications, and making their product far more accessible on-line. After all, since knock-offs already existed, it would obviously occur regardless of whether the company shared information or not. It became clear that they had little to lose, and much to gain: they would be able to rise above the cut-rate copies to become a company that demonstrate it cares about their customer’s success. As they implemented this strategy, it resulted fairly quickly in higher sales volumes because people saw the value in the information provided — saw solutions to their own problems in the shared information. So they responded by contacting the company, and buying product. Clearly this works. And more importantly, it is simply a good thing to do for the benefit of the larger community.

  • Rachael

    First, I agree completely that the more we can share ideas and information, and the more we give and contribute to the world around us, the better the whole world can be, but, I think how much you share depends on the situation and the individual interaction. For example, when you are approached by someone who believes he or she already has the answers, who doesn’t listen and is belittling, you let talk, and you stop offering much, then, you let them learn the hard way.

    Also, it is important to be aware of how secure the other person is with his or herself – especially if your knowledge or ability is greater. This is particularly true if that person is your boss. If they feel threatened, it becomes very difficult to work with them. The challenge is finding ways to share information and ideas so that they feel ownership (as long as you don’t care who gets the credit).

    It is also important to make sure the information is really wanted. Too much information can bore someone who isn’t interested to tears. It can also appear very ego centric.

    Like you, I find those empty seminars with pumped up sales pitches of what you can have for just a few more dollars, very disappointing. I would rather underpromise and overdeliver everytime.

  • shoumen

    Harrison Barnes Review is the unique job search advice engine in the world. This site is help people to find jobs. These sites are many job career advice are published. This website is creating employment opportunity to create their life beautiful.

  • shoumen

    Harrison believes that the best stories typically revolve around the employee being very motivated to do a good job and continually wanting to improve in his or her employment.

  • Harrison Barnes Review is the unique job search advice engine in the world. This site is help people to find jobs. These sites are many job career advice are published. This website is creating employment opportunity to create their life beautiful

  • Harrison believes that the best stories typically revolve around the employee being very motivated to do a good job and continually wanting to improve in his or her employment.

  • Gaurav

    Like all wealth, knowledge and information too stagnate when held up in narrow and closed minds. One must share the information for greater good of many rather than keep it for his own benefit. The writer deserves kudos for posting such a nice piece.

  • First, I agree completely that the more we can share ideas and information, and the more we give and contribute to the world around us, the better the whole world can be, but, I think how much you share depends on the situation and the individual interaction. For example, when you are approached by someone who believes he or she already has the answers, who doesn’t listen and is belittling, you let talk, and you stop offering much, then, you let them learn the hard way.

    Also, it is important to be aware of how secure the other person is with his or herself – especially if your knowledge or ability is greater. This is particularly true if that person is your boss. If they feel threatened, it becomes very difficult to work with them. The challenge is finding ways to share information and ideas so that they feel ownership (as long as you don’t care who gets the credit).

    It is also important to make sure the information is really wanted. Too much information can bore someone who isn’t interested to tears. It can also appear very ego centric.

    Like you, I find those empty seminars with pumped up sales pitches of what you can have for just a few more dollars, very disappointing. I would rather underpromise and overdeliver everytime.

  • Harrison Barnes Review is the unique job search advice engine in the world. This site is help people to find jobs. These sites are many job career advice are published. This website is creating employment opportunity to create their life beautiful…..

  • shoumen

    Harrison Barnes web site is very popular for job search advice. Harrison Barnes site like a career advice web site. This web site is providing career advice to choose their expected jobs for their life.

  • The database and technology is one of the most significant ways in whichhound communicate and assist with building.

  • This website provides different kinds of jobs to the people.www.AHarrisonBarnes.com is the world leader in the monitoring and reporting of jobs on employer websites, through its active and growing research into all employers throughout the world.

  • “Every interaction you have with another person is a chance to make a difference in that person’s life.” – Harrison Barnes. Yes, my imteraction with your cs dept proved to be a “life-changing” experience

  • Joan

    Mr. Barnes, this is so true. There was at least one person in the organization that I previously worked for that held back information as you described. Even just one person can have a widespread negative effect. The upper management was even worse. I recently started a new job with a much different (and more positive) environment. Thanks for the great articles.
    Joan

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