Tacit knowledge is a specific field of knowledge that can play a key role in promoting the well being of an organization and its employees. In fact, if we evaluate its impact we will discover that many of the huge corporate and government organizations owe a huge part of their success to the tacit knowledge sharing sessions.
As the name suggests there is no standard verbal or written form in which the tacit knowledge can be shared and it does pose some limitations of finding the effective mediums for the widespread distribution of tacit knowledge. However, the advanced technology, as well as the time, tested traditional techniques that offer strong avenues to the trainers and mentors to share the tacit knowledge in a more effective manner. Here are some of the best traditional and modern avenues that can be used for sharing tacit knowledge effectively:
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Distribution via Social Media Platforms
One of the new age avenues that are widely and successfully used for sharing tacit knowledge is social networks. In fact, it is the social structure of process that helps the individuals in gaining the tacit knowledge with the help of extended conversation that encourages the individuals/learners to explore the versatile aspects of the topic and touch different facets that help in wholesome development. One of the important studies in 2016 also reveals that in some cases the conversation on the online platforms can even be a better way to share the tacit knowledge as compared to the real-life conversations.
- There are a number of digital tools to perfectly offer a rewarding experience to the clients like a comment, chatting, emoticons, and other interactive features. Hence the participants can connect to the global fraternity without having to travel physically that allow them to transcend the limitations of time and space.
- Besides, a number of aspiring learners might be introverts or may not feel comfortable while during the instances of social interactions. As a result, they might avoid the face to face interactions or training sessions at the workplace and are at a loss when competing with their extrovert colleagues who benefit from proactively attending such training sessions and other instances of tacit knowledge sharing. However, sharing through social networks help such people to overcome their social challenges and allow them to be on the equal footing with their extrovert peers.
Sharing while executing a task
Another way of tacit knowledge sharing is to share it during the real-life situations by the way of demonstration. In this model the trainers or mentors actually work in the real-life situation while explaining the multiple aspects of their tasks that include the intended outputs of a specific task, exact way of dividing the task into different phases and how to executing each phase, dos and don’ts, evaluating the risks and managing them and tackling the unexpected situations or challenges that one may encounter while doing the task.
- It helps the trainers to transfer their vital interpersonal skills that cannot be expressed verbally to the learners while at the same time the learners also get a first-hand experience of the training and its implications on the real-life situations. It also helps in a better interaction and thus creates a greater degree of interest among the learners.
- One of the challenges may be how to preserve the training session so that it can be used by the other employees in the future. While many trainers, mentors or key personnel might use written format to depict what they did and how they did it, it is best to involve the learners during the real-life process as we know that tacit knowledge is by nature “inexplicable within standard formats of written or verbal explanation”. Thankfully today the technology is so advanced that one can easily do that.
- Video recording is not a new thing but the use of portable recording devices like smartphones has made it really easy to record the training sessions live that could be used in the future to train other candidates thus multiplying the effects of a single training session.
- At the same time the video-sharing apps like couture ace it possible to share this tacit knowledge with other interested people across the glove.
The traditional method of storytelling
One of the most traditional ways of sharing the tacit knowledge is by the way of storytelling that involves an interesting manner of sharing the ideas and passing the important knowledge. In this method the trainer presents the new knowledge in the form of creative stories of what they did in the past and how did they acquire a specific knowledge, how did they face the challenges, what kept them motivated and what were the things that they learned throughout the journey.
- An inexplicable, subtle yet very strong blends of all these elements (stories, characters, anecdotes, statements, etc.) play a vital role in motivating the learners, understanding the real import of the training and developing a positive outlook.
Replicating the actions of the trainers
Replicating the actions of trainers in the real-life condition is another way in which the tacit knowledge is shared in the workplace. In this model, the learners are not limited to the passive onlookers but are invited to repeat the tasks that have been demonstrated by the trainers.
- There are 2 major benefits of this type of learning. Firstly there is a little, almost negligible gap in learning the skills and implicating the same that can help a long way in retention of the leered skills. Secondly, the learners can evaluate the precise shortcomings or exact errors of the learner that prevent them from gaining the best benefit out of tacit knowledge sharing. In mathematics language, the learners can evaluate the exact step that is responsible for the erroneous answer.
Working in a collaborative manner
In this model, the trainers handle the complex and major parts of a specific task and ask the candidate to tackle the relatively simple parts of the process. While the other types of tacit knowledge siring need the learners to observe and listen to the trainers, the collaborative working graduates them to an important participant responsible for shaping the outcome of the task.
- The candidate gets twin benefits as they not only learn from the demonstration of what the trainer is doing but also enjoy the freedom of using their own skills and stamina while handling the different phases of a task.
- It makes them gain the new skills while at the same time using their own intuition for assuring the desired output and fine-tuning their efforts in the process.
- Gradually mentor assumes the role of a guide while the learner handles the entire process, the former steps in only when there is a real-life bottleneck that the learner cannot resolve on his own.