The power of shared knowledge

The power of shared knowledge

Knowledge is power. It's a tool that allows us to learn, grow, and achieve our goals. However, we often hold back from sharing our knowledge with others. There are several reasons for this, such as fear of competition, fear of rejection, or lack of confidence.

Yet, sharing our knowledge is a good thing. It's a way to help others, foster collaboration, and create a wiser world.

Why don't we share what we know?

There are various reasons why we don't share what we know. Some of these include:

  • Fear of Competition as Scarcity Mindset: From a psychological perspective, the fear of competition often stems from a scarcity mindset—the belief that there's a limited amount of resources or opportunities. Sharing knowledge, then, is perceived as giving away part of a finite supply of power or advantage.

  • Fear of Rejection and the Need for Social Approval: The fear of having one's knowledge rejected or criticized is often rooted in the innate human need for social approval and belonging. This psychological need can make the stakes feel higher when considering sharing something as personal as one's own expertise or insights.

  • Lack of Confidence and Self-Efficacy: A lack of confidence in sharing knowledge can be tied to self-efficacy, the belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations. Low self-efficacy can make individuals less willing to put themselves in situations where they could be judged or where the outcome is uncertain.

Breaking the cycle

If we're looking to change the game and make knowledge-sharing a norm rather than an exception, we've got to shift our mindset and our environment. Here's how you can help break the cycle:

  • Be the Change You Want to See: It's easy to wait for others to make the first move, but sometimes you've got to be the trendsetter. Start by sharing helpful articles, tips, or even some "life hacks" relevant to your community or workplace. Once people see you doing it, they're likely to join in.

  • Make it a Group Thing: Ever noticed how a potluck dinner gets everyone sharing and talking? Try applying that logic to knowledge. Organize community discussions, webinars, or workshops where everyone can share something they're good at. The trick is to make it casual and fun, so it feels less like a lecture and more like a chat among friends.

  • Show Some Love: Everybody loves a shoutout. Whether it's in a group meeting, a community board, or social media, highlighting someone's good work or unique skill can make a world of difference. It not only boosts their morale but encourages them (and others) to share more in the future.

  • Turn it into a Game: People love challenges and rewards. Create a point system for sharing articles, tips, or helping out others. At the end of the month, whoever has the most points could get a small prize or even just some public praise. It's all about making sharing fun and rewarding.

By changing the dynamics just a bit, we can make sharing the cool thing to do, rather than something we avoid. When that happens, everybody wins.

Tips for Sharing Knowledge

Here are some tips for sharing knowledge:

  • Be the First to Share: If you want people to share, take the first step. Share your own knowledge and skills with others, even if you think they are not that important.

  • Be Positive and Receptive: When someone shares their knowledge with you, be positive and receptive. Ask questions and offer constructive feedback.

  • Make it Fun: Learning can be fun. Find ways to make sharing knowledge an enjoyable and engaging experience.


Sharing our knowledge is a good thing. It helps others, fosters collaboration, and contributes to creating a wiser world. By building an environment of trust and collaboration, we can encourage a greater exchange of knowledge, leading to increased innovation, productivity, and growth.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash