Lucas McDonnell has a list of 15 tips for successful knowledge sharing. Reading through them, I couldn’t help think of the Carnegie tips from How to Win Friends and Influence People. In both cases, the general principle is to listen more than you talk and let people have interesting ideas – no matter who really owns them.
Here is Lucas’ list (check the source for his comments):
- Share failures as well as successes.
- Don’t oversell your own work.
- Ask questions about others’ work.
- Ask before borrowing.
- Give credit where it’s due.
- Be genuine, avoid ‘networking’.
- Don’t just connect with those doing identical work.
- Be prepared to provide documentation.
- Talk to people you already know as well.
- Take lots of notes.
- Take the first the step.
- Learn more than you teach.
- Be patient and listen.
- Talk to people about talking to people.
- Expect the best from people.
A very nice list, demonstrating the social aspects of knowledge flow. It does not happen in a vacuum. These are not new points as shown below:
And here are Carnegie’s 21 elements from HwWFaIP (courtesy of this page and listed in many other places as the summary of the book):
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Online knowledge sharing will only be effective if it follows similar core elements. Web 2,0 is about human conversations, not IT tools. The tools are important based on how they further these core elements.
Online sharing still happens between people, through human social networks. The same tips that further healthy human communication face-to-face, as exemplified by Carnegie’s list, are just a helpful with Web 2.0. What Carnegie wrote in 1936 for Depression era audiences is just a relevant today for online communities. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (from 1849)
Organizations that forget this will not have successful online experiences.