The Weekly Buzz: Sharing Expertise
Are you ready to learn something really well? There’s no better way than by sharing your knowledge with others. As the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “homines dum docent discunt”—“People learn while they teach.” Maestro sales trainers get plenty of opportunities to share and hone their expertise, but you don’t have to quit your job and become a full-time trainer to get this benefit.
Think Like a Team
The new issue of Harvard Business Review has an engrossing profile of customer service practices at T-Mobile. The mobile carrier has made a massive overhaul of call-center practices based on teams that work together to support customers. Incentive practices are now based on team success metrics like customer retention, rather than individual handle times. The result: more effective, happier employees who share their knowledge instead of hoarding it. Oh, and happy, retained customers.
Learning & Developing
There are many, many ways to share your expertise within an organization. This might entail moving into a role in learning and development (L&D), or coaching someone on an individual basis. The Association for Talent Development offers some great perspective on the difference between coaching and mentoring. Do you see yourself as a coach, or a mentor?
Because mentoring focuses on the development of the individual and their career, rather than the acquisition of a particular skill set, it can be the longest and most varied type of knowledge sharing relationship. Know what you are getting into before taking on a mentee, and when you do, think about who you can benefit the most. It might not be the person who is just like you were at that career stage; it might be a woman, an underrepresented minority, a student, or a person who approaches their job very differently from you who can gain the most from your perspective. And you might gain some new perspective too!
What’s the coolest thing that has happened to you when sharing knowledge with someone? Share your story in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.