Business is also about how you know, not just what or who you know

© Jenn Shallvey 2013

© Jenn Shallvey 2013

I invite you to open your mind, clear away your judgements, strip down any preconceived notions.  

Have you done this yet?

Not easy is it!

To tell anyone to not think critically and not evaluate every thought is challenging.

Yet I am going to encourage you to pause and take a break for a moment. I promise you can get back to your regular ways and habits in a few minutes.

Three questions

I want to ask you three questions.

Do you know?

Do you know what you know?

Do you know how to access what you know?

Now I bet you said yes.  Because we all know something don’t we?

Yet then why, why I ask, do we not value what we know and instead turn to others for all the answers?

When I ask if ‘you know’, what I mean is do you know the answers to your own questions without having to go to an external source or reference of facts, figures or acquired knowledge.  

When I ask if ‘you know what you know’, what I mean is do you take the time to cultivate and acknowledge the wealth of insight, perspective and uniqueness that lies untapped within you.

When I ask if ‘you know how to access what you know’ what I mean is do you you know the most efficient, effective, consistent and reliable means for getting the answers you need to the questions you have?

So at this point perhaps you are challenged. I hope so. I want to ruffle your feathers a bit and get to the place where you say ‘I know’. What I want even more is for you to do this in the most unlikely of all environments business. That is I want you to be able to know, know what you know and access what you know when you are work.  


Based on what I know, people in business who access this extra special untapped resource of their own inner knowing are more equipped to do the work they do.  People who go beyond the surface of externally acquired knowledge and expectations are the successful ones.  People who claim who they are through the way they value what they can offer are the ones that are happier. Ultimately people who truly connect to this place within of knowing are the ones that work with joy. Yes JOY!  

One perspective

Take a moment now to consider and contemplate the types of people you encounter in your workplace.  Go beyond the guy sitting in the cubicle next to you. Consider your colleagues, clients, suppliers, managers. Think of anyone and everyone that you have come across in a business interaction.  Now ask yourself, of these people, who stands out as someone who is really truly happy and working with joy?  It is likely that there are a few, and because I don’t think it is as common as the opposite, you will find that they stand out.  Now in your contemplation consider what these business people know and how they act upon and apply their knowing.  Acknowledge the fact that to do jobs professionally they need technical knowing. Acknowledge the fact that to advance in roles there is also learning involving acquisition of skills and knowledge.  But after acquisition of this factual, technical and skill based knowledge what does this person know? How do they know?


Consider another perspective.  Thinking of the different people in business who are the ones you would go to for advice, support, insight and wisdom?  What makes these individuals stand out?  What is it about these individuals that separates them from the rest?  Now I am not saying the workplace is dotted with Yoda’s and you are Luke Skywalker. Nor am I saying that the Dalai Lama is just around the corner. [Though if both were true wouldn’t that be fun!!!!]  What I am saying is that these people that come to mind in your contemplation are doing something right because they trust themselves. They are confident in who they are and listen to not just what others say but what that inner voice says inside of them.  How they do this will be unique to each person.

Back to you

So now stop looking at all the other people. Look at yourself. This is the hardest thing to do.  Stare in the mirror and ask yourself again

What do I know?

What do I know that know?

How do I access what I know?

Whatever comes up immediately to each question is your first answer. These answers are also your knowing. Well maybe.  It takes a lot more than just asking a question to consistently and confidently access your knowing. It also takes some skill to discern what you come up with. Applying this search for answers in a business situation you need resilience, confidence and commitment. It is not easy at first.  Over time though what is possible is to develop a direct access that is quick, clear, supportive and accurate for you.

Special in a different way

Yet what is also exciting is that EVERYONE, yes EVERYONE has their own inner wisdom that they can tap into.  You are not unique in your access. What you are unique in is the wisdom you have. So it is my view that when people come together in a work situation that there exists an additional resource. This resource is the collective wisdom of the group of people.

Most businesses are missing out on this already prevalent and existing resource. Most leaders in business are missing out on developing to their fullest capability by not accessing this resource.

The starting point is you. The starting point is you asking yourself the questions regularly and consistently. The starting point is you taking responsibility for what you know and the courage to use it.  

But first you need to know.