We Know More than We Think
We all have knowledge we don’t know we have. This is because our brain has this one superior and efficient function.
Dr. Arthur Reber, cognitive psychologist and retired professor, explains that we have an implicit learning function that is an unconscious process. For example, learning a language in the environment in which it is spoken is an implicit process. Grammar and pronunciation patterns and rules are learned unconsciously.
Research suggests that our knowledge base is made of at least 70% tacit (or unconscious) knowledge. This knowledge can be acquired through implicit learning and is difficult to verbalize. For instance, you know how to ride a bike, but can you describe how you balance on a bike so that you don’t fall off? This is knowledge you already have but difficult to explain.
In our everyday work, we acquire tacit knowledge. Knowledge we don’t know we have. So how can this idea be translated to practice?
Here is a tip. When asking for solutions from your learners, have them generate 10 ideas. You will find that they can generate 3-4 pretty easily. But the remaining 6-7 will be difficult. This is because you are challenging them to dig deeper in order to access their tacit knowledge. They will discover they know more than they think. What a great way to learn, too.