Use and Share Information

Using and Sharing Information is the broadest category of the competencies of a leader.  This includes not only verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills, but a leader should also have skills with technology, financial data and other management duties.

Using and sharing information benefits everyone.  Capturing and sharing the expertise of a community is knowledge management.  Knowledge management takes advantage of the collective expertise of its employees and partners.  

A quote from Woodrow Wilson, "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow," is a good example of a leader using the resources around him.

Below are ideas on how to use and share information effectively as a leader.

Present concepts with audience and purpose in mind
Communicate, communicate.  Effective communication is key to relaying concepts, ideas, goals, etc.  When communicating it is important to address issues directly and truthfully.

The following, click here, will provide you with tips on how to improve your interpersonal communication skills on topics ranging from providing feedback that has an impact to communication success tips.

Build on input from others
Good leaders continue to seek input from all.  Continually seeking input from employees and customers is important.  Incorporate financial, customers, and quality information into decision making.  This practice is good for business and also motivates all the parties involved.

Use technology and media effectively
The effective use of technology and media can save time, money, and make your life a lot easier when building team relationships. 

  • Use technology when you can to save time and money
  • Always follow up to build relationships

Incorporates financial, customers, and quality information into decision making
The using and sharing of information plays an important role in the sucess of an organization and/or department.  Listed below are some of the traits of groups that tend to divulge more of the unshared information with each other (Wittenbaum et al., 2004):

  • Groups where members disagree and who display less groupthink are more likely to share information that only they know.
  • When people are told to try and recall relevant information before the meeting, this makes them more likely to mention facts that only they know.
  • Members of a group should be made aware of each other's expertise, so they know (broadly speaking) what everyone else knows.
  • The longer meetings go on, the more likely that people will recall previously unshared information (unfortunately!).
  • People are more likely to share if they have a higher status in the group. So to encourage lower status members to share, their expertise needs to be specifically acknowledged to the group.

Try noticing the extent to which the group is sharing information that everyone already knows in your next meeting.  Use the techniques listed above if there seems to be little or no new information being shared.