More About that Knowing-Doing Gap – Maybe You have to Know Before You Ever Do


We were talking about the difference between knowing what makes a good speech and then actually delivering a good speech.

Goofy Golfer 3So we had a short golf tutorial today at the session I led on Communication for the Caruth Institute for the Dallas Police Department Sergeants class. Mike was his name, and he gave a great “explainer” lesson on how to hit a golf shot from the tee – with the #1 driver. (That’s what he called it – I just call it the biggest club in the bag). He talked about where to put your hands, your feet. He demonstrated a proper swing.

And, when it was all over, I had more knowledge about a good golf swing than I had before.

But, no, I doubt that I will hit a golf ball better because of this thorough, excellent explanation.

The next step I need to take is to go hit some golf balls with an attempt at that proper swing, and then observe and correct, and swing again, and observe and correct… somewhere around a few hundred, or maybe a few thousand, times.

Here’s the deal.

We have to know stuff.
and then…
We have to know how to do stuff.

I use the word “stuff” on purpose, because there are so many arenas in which we need to develop genuine expertise.

I have written often about the knowing-doing gap. And for some reason I have always focused on the “doing” end of that formula. If you know, and yet you do not do, the work does not get done, and progress remains elusive.

But maybe I should pay attention to the knowing end of that equation a little more carefully. Maybe, if we truly developed deep knowledge in an area that needed such deep knowledge, then maybe we would be more equipped to then “do.”

Maybe the knowing-doing gap starts with a knowing gap. We all have stuff to learn. And, only after we learn the knowledge we need to learn can we then tackle the “doing” end of the equation.

So, what do you need to “know” that you don’t yet know? Time to start learning…again.

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