Creating the right situation for Knowledge to flourish

A fundamental mistake we often make when judging other people is assuming that their behaviour mainly reflects their personality. Unfortunately this ignores another major influence on how people behave staring us right in the face: the situation.

Our personalities certainly have an influence on what situations we get into and how we deal with them, but situational factors — even relatively subtle ones — can completely obliterate the effects of personality.

Don’t take my word for it, though, consider a modern take on an ancient bible story from social psychologists Darley & Batson (1973)http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/27/1/100/

What these figures show is the large effect that subtle aspects of the situation have on the way people behave.

How does this effect Knowledge Sharing (KS). We can’t just assume people do or do not want to share. In many cases it’s the situation which provides the hurdle. One of the positive aspects of a current KS community project is that actions are being taken to create a situation which encourages and supports KS. Finnace codes are being added to include KS while key influencers are being recruited within the community so the wider community can see KS coming from the leadership.

The old adage that a person can be judged on their actions isn’t the whole truth. Often people’s behaviour, and our own, may say very little about our personalities and much more about the complexities of the situation in which we find ourselves. These small changes help create the right situation for KS to flourish. 

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