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The Curse of Knowledge

By December 2, 2021January 18th, 2022Law Firm Operations, systems

As lawyers, we’re often cursed with knowing too much.

This can make it difficult to remember what it was like not to know something, which makes it much harder to delegate our work to others.
This problem is called…

The Curse of Knowledge

Basically, this term means that the better you know something the harder it is to imagine what it feels like NOT to know it.

So when delegating work it’s very hard for you to put yourself in the novice’s mind — i.e. someone who has never done the particular task or procedure before.

The closest you’ll come to re-experiencing that mindset is by doing the procedure yourself and making notes about what steps are actually involved.

At that point, you’ll have a good chance of seeing the world through the eyes of the novice.

Feel like a novice again

The more you learn to feel what a novice experiences when trying to do a task for the first time, the better you’ll be able to delegate work.

Delegating work is best done by using documented procedures. That’s how you’ll steadily improve the instructions you’re giving (i.e. overcoming the curse of knowledge).

Learning to do this on your own can be challenging. That’s why I created my systems workshops.

I found it helps lawyers to learn how best to document procedures with other lawyers who afflicted by the same curse of knowledge.

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