Don’t assume others know what you know

manager_coachWe often think others know something when in reality they may not. Don’t always assume your employees or your clients know what you know because they probably do not.

In many cases some of the simplest things in life are not all that well known by others you come in contact with. I can give you a couple of examples:

  1. I wrote an article for TechRepublic once about using a project scheduling template to help me monitor and manage a project. In just a few days there was over 15,000 downloads of this template. It was one of the simplest tools I have and I was amazed at how many downloads took place from that one article.
  2. My brother told me he had discovered this new technology gadget. When he tells me something like this, there is usually something pretty neat I’m about to learn about. Then he shows me a wireless PowerPoint Presenter device. I thought he was kidding because I carry one with me all the time and have used these devices for 10 years. He wasn’t kidding, , , he had just discovered it.
  3. Early in my management career I discovered the team I was managing didn’t know how to troubleshoot a client problem. They had significant experience with the technologies we were supporting but struggled in defining the problems and underlying issues causing them. It was a surprise and an example that employees can sometimes lack the basics. IT managers need to coach employees the fundamentals just like they do in sports teams.

The point of all of this is, “Don’t assume others know what you know.” I see it all the time in my IT Manager Institute classes, , , many of the basic processes or templates I share are game changers for some of our students, , , and sometimes they have been managers for many years.

An example of this is that I shared a New Employee Orientation Checklist with a class and the senior manager in the room thought it was great. He had been managing IT for 20 years and didn’t have anything like it, , , and as he said, “This is so simple and basic, I should have created something like it 15 years ago.”

Don’t assume others know what you know. It would be a big mistake.

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