31 Jan Knowledge is power
I have found myself in a reflective state more often than not on many things since the start of the new year,
I have found the retrospective eye can help us to learn many things that may have gone un-noticed the first time round, after all knowledge is power. Power to be free, power to enhance oneself, and others power to dream.
Knowledge is most powerful when shared amongst our communities, helping to broaden, strengthen and enlighten others. The debates one can generate are endless, why then do individuals feel that knowledge is a possession not to be shared?
Too many times I have seen various scenarios unfold whereby one individual seeks guidance from another, I’m not referring to expert knowledge that comes at a cost, more general information. Where the so called ‘knowledgeable one’ only shares snippets of their knowledge on the subject matter in question.
They keep vital pieces of information to themselves as though they alone have the copyright, bearing in mind that this information is usually out there anyway if you know where to look. Often these knowledgeable ones are saboteurs in our midst leading us amiss, ensuring we have to return to them again for more guidance (until that is, when we realise their game!)
Obviously many of my reflections are from the driving instruction industry but it does not mean that this sort of self glorification does not occur in other industries.
One such reflection revolves around the ‘Ordit’ badge and test and the apprehension that surrounded its introduction, not that dissimilar to the introduction of the revised part 3 ADI test.
I was at a particular training event where many driving instructors were present, some were assisting with the training and others were attending for training. All identities have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
Michael who was leading the day as senior trainer was someone I’d met at various training events and was considered by some as a very knowledgeable resource point. I couldn’t comment either way as my interactions with Michael were always quite matter of fact regarding the training contents.
However on the day in question we were on the same side, ‘trainers in arms’ a group of ten ‘expert’ trainers training small sub groups. It was an all day event at a venue in the south of England, it wasn’t a very fancy place more of an industrial setting.
The morning had passed quickly without any hiccups and it was now lunch time. Cheese sandwich with a cup of tea for me, after which the trainers had congregated for a congenial chat which as usual quickly turned towards work.
The subject on everyones mind was the process of obtaining the Ordit badge, with Michael holding court as the expert, Michael spent a fair bit of time telling all present that he had got his and that they could see it displayed on his windscreen.
The questions started to roll in thick and fast and as the conversation progressed, I just stood back and listened (being more of an observer) what I quickly picked up on was Michael’s evasive manner in responding to the questions. I started to smile at the scenario because I felt that he actually didn’t know his subject matter that well, and I just continued watching this comical ‘sharing’ of knowledge.
Michael saw me smiling and I don’t know if he found my quietness discerning or he wanted to embarrass me but whichever he shouted over to me in front of everybody “Ken go on, take a look at my badge after all it’s what you wished you had”. His manner was not pleasant and in fact it was as if he was the omniscient one, all knowing? Don’t make me laugh.
Now I’m not one who likes games or public shenanigans, so I replied “ what are you going on about?”
Michael laughingly said to the group “Ken wishes he had an Ordit badge like mine, it’s ok Ken you can talk to me later”.
What Michael didn’t know was that I am quite meticulous and I actually had done my homework, as I said earlier, the information is out there if you know where to look. In this case the Ordit register, where I had seen that Michael was registered under a separate company’s name yet he was telling people he’d gained it independently.
What was also obvious was that Michael was not that upto date as he made out because he was unaware of my presence on that register as an independent trainer. As Michael had made this a public show, I thought I should point out the facts in my own ‘Kenny’ style, in front of the others.
Without going into too much detail Michael was shocked at my information and removed himself very quickly red faced making some excuse of needing to spend a penny.
Many others present then came up to me to thank me for my frankness as they had had many situations where they had wished they could get one up as he never shared information it was more of a belittling.
My reflection on this situation is more on the manner in which knowledge is sought and shared, why do we gravitate to certain individuals hoping that they will show us the way without some preliminary fact finding first?
My message would be always try to do some research first and if you are going to approach another to help you then ensure they have legitimacy in the field of information you require.