We’ve all come across them – be it in high school, business school or at our workplace. Information hoarders exist and we’ve got to learn how to deal with them. More importantly, make sure that we are not one of them.
Somewhere down the line people have confused the maxim – ‘Knowledge is power’ with ‘Information is power’. Not only does information hoarding put you in poor light, it also sets you back in ways that may not be obvious. Information does not belong to a single individual and not sharing it could lead to short charging yourself.
So how do you deal with Information Hoarders? To begin with, ask questions. Encourage sharing of information and knowledge through various forums. One of the best ways is to ask the team member to prepare a presentation for his team. If it’s a colleague, share information and follow by asking them what they have been doing lately.
Collaboration is becoming a highly important skill in today’s workplace. People and managers alike have been fired from organizations for not having shared critical and valuable information. If you see someone making themselves indispensable in your organization, check why? Is it because they are hoarding information? If yes, you need to coach the person. Harboring information hoarders could only lead to damaging the organization.
One has to understand that information is only what you make of it. Besides, it is always better to compete with equals that win on the unfair advantage of knowing something that the other person does not.
There are two questions I would like to leave you with here:
- Would you trust the information hoarder with a reportee?
- What can you do to change this trait?
“We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.” Billy Graham
What information have you withheld today?