Do you know what you don’t know?
There’s a simple concept called The Knowledge Pie.
This concept segments one’s personal knowledge into three key areas; what we know, what we know that we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know. You might want to read that again.
How do you know what you don’t know? An example to better explain: Jane, a young qualified plumber and business owner, knows how to do plumbing. She also knows that she does not know how to do a Tax Return… or orthopaedic surgery. However, she doesn’t know that she does not know that if she tightened her Terms of Trade and debtor management policy, she’d get paid faster and improve her cash flow, making her business life less stressful and more successful.
No one knows what they don’t know.
How to extend your knowledge? Many people think this ‘cluelessness’ is a lack of experience thing that affects young people… but everyone, even experts, are completely unaware of what they don’t know that they don’t know.
So Do you know what you don’t know? Imagine the average pie for any person… it could be lemon meringue or steak and cheese – you choose. Now, cut your pie in half and cut one half in half again (creating two quarters). One quarter represents what you know, one quarter represents what you know you don’t know, and the half represents what you don’t even know that you don’t know.
How to extend your knowledge? How do I learn about what I don’t know even though I don’t know?
Some ways to grow your knowledge this year:
Join a new network.
Do some volunteer work.
Get a mentor or coach.
Coach or mentor someone else!
Collaborate with someone that brings different skills and knowledge to the party.
Learn a new skill - it could be pottery, coding, or the ancient art of tai chi.
Visit a new place, town, or country; immerse yourself in the history, culture, and language.
Subscribe to a new magazine, publication or podcast.
Read books on different subjects.
Growing your knowledge can grow your business.
The fact is that for all of us there is much more that we don’t even know we don’t know than what we actually know. Breathe. It’s ok.
Next fact: we will be more successful in life and business if we remain open to new learning, and learning extensions and distinctions on what we already know.
Avoid having an ‘I know’ mentality about the things you do know about.
Some people close their minds when hearing about a topic they have knowledge of. They may assume that they know it all. But we can always know more... and if we shut ourselves down to new learning, we could miss an important distinction that could make a big difference.
Get in touch if you’re interested in how we can help you extend yourself this year.
“Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life.” - Charles Munger