In This Life

Sometimes you observe a situation and realize that common knowledge isn’t all that common. Rather than heap scorn, this is actually a chance for you to speak up and share your “common sense” with others — leading to one of those magical “Oh, I didn’t realize” moments.

I recently had an encounter like this at my office. Faced with a rapidly approaching deadline, my colleague became increasingly frustrated because she couldn’t figure out how to quickly send multiple documents to a waiting client. Observing her growing angst, an opportunity presented itself.

Now if you’re unaware of how to do this, it could appear to be a daunting task. But, secure in my knowledge, I calmly maneuvered her mouse and, in a few click and drags, all 74 documents were attached to the email she was composing.

Her reaction was priceless. “Oh, I didn’t realize it was that easy!” The task done, peace ensued.

Although there are many things that may be common knowledge to you, you should always be ready and willing to assist others — your information can provide a timely solution to their problem.

Whether it’s mundane tasks or complicated procedures, don’t be afraid to share what you know. Speaking up can save a colleague, friend or stranger from misspent time and aggravation, and promote a smarter and more collaborative work environment.