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:

Muck Shift

Just when is a deal not a deal…? I heard this story from a friend of mine the other week; there are some lessons to be learned! So, my pal is a developer and is building some houses on what is essentially a square site. Two sides of the square can be accessed from the road in a neighboring housing estate and the other two are beside a field owned by another developer. There is a huge pile of muck to shift before the actual building project; this phase is known in the trade – and not unreasonably - as a "muck-shift"! As there will be 80 -100 lorries coming in and out each day for 6 weeks, it was considered more convenient to access the site over the field, so an approach was made to the developer to discuss the terms under which he would allow access. This is a standard arrangement and the deal typically is that the field would be returned to the owner in its original condition. Developer makes a bit of money, where otherwise he wouldn’t; homeowners in the adjoining estate are less inconvenienced; builder does not need to spend money cleaning the streets and getting them back to a usable state at the end of the project. Win-win.

Latest Tweet:





United States
973.428.1991
usa@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png