Ideas don't make us experts. Awareness does.

I received this “Weekly Kabbalah Tune Up” today, just after receiving another hateful email from my very angry, vindictive sister.

I’m always amazed at the Life Lessons that I’m forced to face – and always at the most appropriate time.

Mike McConnell, former Director of National Intelligence, described the principles of how to arrive at good intelligence 17 years ago while serving under Colin Powell.

“I have a rule,” General Powell told him. “As an intelligence officer, your responsibility is to tell me what you know; tell me what you don’t know; then you’re allowed to tell me what you think. But always keep those three things separate. ”

This was a profound concept to me. Most of us take what we think and turn it into what we know.

When we give out information, it’s important to separate it into what we know, what we don’t know, and what we think. Sometimes it’s hard to say what we don’t know. Our egos don’t like us to be in the dark. It takes a very smart, very responsible person to distinguish between these three areas.

We need to know our strengths, weaknesses, and what we think we can do. One reason for botched communication is we don’t separate between these three things. You’ve got to keep them separate from the beginning. Then you’ll be a more valuable leader, follower, and friend.

No matter who is working with you, under you, or above you – as long as you have someone who needs to report to you and/or you to them – be sure to share what’s known, what’s unknown, and what’s perceived. It will help alleviate expectations and allow the flow of communication to be clearer.

Ideas don’t make us experts. Awareness does. The work may seem difficult, but the point is simple. To say you don’t know isn’t always easy. But it can solve the big problems that happen when people make what they think into what they know.

Comments are closed.