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Maintenance Management

Part 2- Why they withhold the Knowledge?

Each of the 5 types of team members contribute to the flow or the withhold of the knowledge. Find here why? How to deal with each mentality?

We had covered in the previous chat Part1 – Who withholds the knowledge: the the different types of knowledge and how to handle the transfer of each one. And why some of your team withhold the knowledge? Today we are going to dig a little bit deeper in the different characters we may face in our team. Which type of knowledge each one has? and how to facilitate the knowledge transfer from within their life perceptions. Just we need to remember that Knowledge is on two folds. The first one is the information knowledge which can flow easily within a maintenance system. The second one is the skills knowledge which needs guided hands on practicing or applied training to enrich or transfer the skills.

Who has the knowledge?!

First team, the doers

They are just doers. And they do not bother to understand what is behind the mere physical action they are doing. Those elevate the physical force of the team but may cause problems. I had seen a couple of bad experiences with team members of different nationalities and age group. To comply with the maintenance schedule they had started working on live equipment without waiting the release ofrom their supervisor. They both believed that the system was safely locked but the supervisor didn’t inform them so they tried to access electrically protected areas. Fortunately, that caused a protection trip and they were safe. But that’s a reminder that those who lives in the nut-shell of the execution, needs a supervisor guidance.

But do the doers have some knowledge to share?

Since they do the job right almost every time, they have the a subconscious skill of how the job is done. Like when you drive your car for some years or when you are using the same password everywhere. The data and information and proper reactions are stored in your subconscious mind and you do it repeatedly right. The doers abehave in the same way. The data, information and skills that they need to perform the job are stored in their minds and muscles. However they are not consciously able to transfer it. They are perfect helping hands when you have a system in place to record the data. They will automatically provide the system with enough feedback. However they will follow the steps as is. So, if you need to know if the maintenance procedure is correct as you had programmed it in the system, spend sometime monitoring them performing. Your remarks about how to make their job easier and more efficient will be a valuable add-on to the system.

In the second group, the criticizers

They have a good information or knowledge base from their education or previous experiences. They have the ability to understand or dig to understand and do their jobs right. However, they are not interested in sharing their knowledge. Either the business environment didn’t manage to engage them or they believe that everyone should struggle to know. They criticize any efforts to systemize the work or to facilitate the knowledge transfer. They are skilled, aware of their skills but introvert.

The best way to involve them in the data transfer is to discuss their own point of view of data transfer. Then, let them try it. Do not try to prove they are wrong or to criticize them back. Just let them get involved and don’t focus on their flaws. When they will feel safe and trusted, they will be a real added value to your maintenance system because they have the physical and mental capabilities

The third party, The criticize victims

They had gained theoretical or informational knowledge and had gained some skills through their career. Unfortunately, they don’t trust what they know. They do not have the self trust or the self esteem if you look more deeply. Their biggest fear is to be wrong in their public opinion so they prefer to keep it deep within. They may satisfy themselves by the truth that they were correct in their opinion or recommendation when somebody else express it. There are many techniques to collect their opinions. You can start by asking for anonymous opinions using Delphi technique. The Delphi technique helps in this case because:

Anonymity reduces impact of dominant individuals and helps reduce peer pressure to conform, and allows opinions to be considered in a non-adversarial manner

Source: The Delphi Technique
Fourth party, the Opportunists (with its bad connotation)

They have ambitious to grow in the work place. But, they believe that to be the best they must be distinguished by some magic. They tend to keep the knowledge they gain to themselves. When they withhold the knowledge intentionally, they turn to be the worst group in the workplace. However, if the managers are not conscious enough, they will support this attitude and may be praise it. Why? Because some managers just want things to get done. Those managers don’t care about the long term performance of the team or the healthiness of the workplace.

You may make them leaders for some pilot teams and evaluate them based on the performance of their teams. They may try to prove that the team members were incompetent. So, shoulder them another team. The next time they won’t be so generous with claiming the team as incompetent because they will look like trying to prove that everyone else is incompetent.

The fifth group are the aAngels.

They synchronize with the system, upgrade themselves, give hand to others and return faithful notes. The fourth group are rarely raised in the workplace. That’s who they are in their entire life. When the managers are conscious enough they give them their deserved praise and rely on them to lead the knowledge transfer. However if there is no healthy autonomous environment created for knowledge transfer, those angels efforts might be not utilized.

By default the angels are trying to help . That’s why we need to know why this may not happen naturally. That’s what we are going to discuss in our next chat. One last note before we leave you with your coffee:

Is the knowledge that valuable?

The knowledge and experience you have NOW is your valuable treasure. Never compare it to someone else’s knowledge. At any point of time you have knowledge in some area that superceeds those of many other colleagues. Just continue to get inspired and upgrade your understanding and hence your knowledge whether theoretical or practical i.e. skills. Even though the knowledge you have NOW is valuable, there is no valid reason for withholding the knowledge you have from other team members. Nowadays, knowledge sources are available allover the open web. Moreover, more specialized knowledge are available in easy to reach training courses that are available to study at your rhythm and budget. However, few put there hands out to grasp the available knowledge.

In Conclusion,

To maintain a healthy work place, create a knowledge transfer environment that can be adapted to most of the workplace mentalities. Although every individual is different in a certain way, we had explained five popular types that you may find in your team. We had explained how each type contribute to the flow of knowledge or its withholding. You can find also some recommendations to deal with each mentality. Stay safe, join our course on Udemy that tells you which information you need and why? and Enjoy your coffee however you like it, it is a bless.

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By Rezika

I intend to create a better-managed value adding working environment.
Projects and Maintenance Manager with broad experience in industrial plants. Managed Projects and applied different maintenance strategies and improvements tasks in different industrial plants: steel, cement, and food industries.

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