Ideally, we would all share our knowledge equally, unfortunately the reality is quite different. A lot of people are knowledge hoarders: I’m sure you know who they are! They simply won’t share their knowledge or if they do, it’s on a very limited basis. People like to feel indispensable, thinking that knowledge is power and therefore they should keep it to themselves. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Generosity is very powerful and the benefits of being generous with your knowledge are endless.
Imagine that everything you know is contained within a circle and everything outside of the circle is unknown. The more you learn, the bigger the circle grows. When the circle grows, its circumference does too and stretches to touch more of the unknown. Learning doesn’t just increase what you know, it shows you just how much you don’t know and just how much more there is to discover (source: the strive group).
Here are five reasons why you should be generous with your knowledge and grow your circle.
Generosity makes us feel good
Generosity improves our overall health and well-being. Numerous studies have proven how generosity, in whatever form benefits our overall health, both physical and mental. Practicing generosity is a mental health principle, and it could be the very key to a happy and healthy life. Studies show generosity can lower blood pressure, lower the risk of dementia and heart disease and also contribute to reducing anxiety, stress and depression.
Acting generously helps us feel better about ourselves. And generosity is a natural confidence builder. By focusing on what we are giving, we shift our focus away from ourselves and have a more outward facing view of the world. It increases self-awareness. When we see someone else benefiting from our generosity, it makes us feel good.
Research suggests that generosity helps us to improve and strengthen our relationships both professionally and personally. It helps us interact better with family, friends and work colleagues and promotes a social connection, that improves relationships. When we are generous with our knowledge, it enables others to perceive us in a more positive light. This fosters a sense of community and interconnectedness.
Generosity of knowledge strengthens professional relationship and signals trust to a potential client too. It precipitates generosity from others, which helps build stronger relationships. And is key to successful, long term personal and professional career success.
Foster innovation and creativity
Facilitating and encouraging your staff to share knowledge can help your organisation achieve better results. Stimulating conversation that encourages an open sharing of knowledge helps your workforce be more productive, builds an environment of trust and inspires innovations.
By showing how important knowledge sharing within your organisation, staff will be more open to collaborate with each other and other departments and remove silos. A more involved workforce ensures knowledge sharing is natural outside of functions and departments. And encourages staff to connect with senior executives and overall feel more valued as an employee.
Staff want to feel like their knowledge and ideas matter. Create an environment to do this is good for business and good for staff retention. You’ll probably create more individual experts along the way too.
More engaged and knowledgeable workforce
An article in Forbes magazine stated that a culture of generosity in the workplace, a tangible atmosphere of teach and mutual support produces engaged employees and creates a successful team. Being generous with knowledge encourages others to perceive us in a more positive light and a feeling of connectedness.
Being on the receiving end of knowledge generosity generates positive feelings and short term happiness. A happy and engaged workforce is what so many businesses strive for: reduced staff turnover and increased productivity.
Knowledgeable and engaged staff will be noticed by prospects and customers. With informed and knowledgeable employees, any interaction with them and your organisation will leave them with a positive and memorable feeling. Engaged employees will naturally become advocates for your organisation too, and that’s good for business.
Good for business
Being generous with your knowledge will boost your brand. Around 98% of employees have social media channels, and according to Hootsuite, between 33% and 50% of them will post about your business without prompting. And if you have taken action on the above suggestions, your workforce will be your greatest advocates. Authentic and natural promotion of your brand.
Content marketing is a great way to share and be generous with your knowledge. Elon Musk is a great example of someone who has been generous with his IP. Obviously, we’re not advocating giving away the ‘crown jewels’ of your business, but sharing your thinking, thoughts and guidance with the world is good for business. Sharing your experience can be valuable to others. By sharing knowledge your create a conversation, that gets the ball rolling for way to grow yourself and grow your business. A way to show others the value of what you do.
Being generous with your knowledge can change your life
If there’s one thing you take away from reading this, its that being generous with your knowledge can have a dramatically, positive impact on your quality of life. It can make you happier, healthier and improve your relationships both at work and outside of work. Not only will you benefit others, you’ll benefit yourself.
So, whenever a generous impulse pops into your head, act on it straight away, don’t put it off until later. When you fail to act, and there are many reasons, the recipient will never know.
Sharing insight and ideas freely with other businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, clients and team members will leave a positive, lasting and memorable impact. Share freely when its appropriate.