I've written about the curse of knowledge a number of times and bring it up in many conversations. It's an essential phenomenon to be aware of, especially for leaders and educators, who rely heavily on communication.
The curse of knowledge is when you fail to realize what those you speak to don't know because you assume they know what you know. You, therefore, mention industry jargon to lay people or consider concepts you're familiar with as common knowledge amongst all people.
I've seen the curse of knowledge in workshops, startup pitches, personal conversations, and many other situations.
One example of this phenomenon I just realized is how people name their files. If I have a company called ABC and I'm sending a proposal to a client called XYZ, what would be some reasonable names I can call this file?
Some people settle for the following options:
- Proposal.pdf (no context at all)
- Proposal for XYZ.pdf (the file is named from the company's vantage point, not the client's)
- Proposal from ABC.pdf (makes sense to the client, but may cause confusion in the company: who is this proposal for?)
- ABC Proposal - for XYZ.pdf (this gives context to both parties and reinforces ABC's branding)
There are other factors to consider when naming files (including a date, deadline, service, etc) depending on what the company does and how files are used, but it's important to ensure that the file name is meaningful to both sender and recipient.
Do you have any file naming conventions you've figured out work well for you?
Are you interested in organizing your digital world?