Humans logo

I'm tired of not being able to think straight at work! That's because you're not doing this right.

It's a bad "brain" that can't understand the problem

By KurandaPublished 3 months ago 7 min read
I'm tired of not being able to think straight at work! That's because you're not doing this right.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

01 I can't understand the problem, is it because my "brain" is not working well?

The so-called unclear work ideas, I also always thought that I was "stupid", there are problems that should be considered well in advance. Later, when I became a manager, I realized that many people have this problem, especially those who have just graduated and joined the industry.

When arranging tasks, leaders think they have explained them very clearly them rly, and employees also think they understand very clearly, but the time to do it is a world of difference.

Both sides are clear, but why is there a difference in the outcome?

In social psychology, this phenomenon is known as the "curse of knowledge".

It means that when we have a certain kind of knowledge, we naturally assume that others have the same knowledge.

In 1990, a Ph.D. student in psychology at StanPh.D.d University conducted an experiment in which subjects were divided into two groups (group A and group B).

The students in group A were given a list of familiar children's songs.

Then, the students in Group A were asked to play the rhythm on the table for the students in Group B to hear.

In the end, the students in Group B were asked to guess what the song was.

The result was that Group B got only 2.5% correct, with only 3 out of 120 songs guessed.

More interestingly, the students in Group A thought that the students in Group B could guess at least 50% of the songs.

It is slightly noteworthy that knowledge does not only refer to specific points of knowledge but can also be experience, skills, and information.

One day, you and your leader meet in the company's 'break room' and out of the blue, your leader tells you that the company needs to buy some more chairs and asks you to do so.


Without saying a word, you buy them back in the afternoon in the same style as the original.

The leader is dumbfounded when he takes a look.

Your thoughts.

Because the task is scheduled in the "break area", you naturally assume that there are not enough chairs in the "break area".

The leader's thought is.

"The new large meeting room has been renovated and a few more chairs are needed.

Then you rush off to buy more chairs for the meeting room.

The leader sighs.

Your thought.

Just buy the chairs for the meeting room.

The leader's thought.

"The original chairs are too big and I want to add some smaller chairs so that the meeting room can seat more people".

After a few tosses, the leader can only silently write this in your review

"Hardworking, but not clear thinking, not serious enough".

The reason for this is not IQ, but the "curse of knowledge". If you blindly follow your own "brain", the result is always inconsistent with your expectations, and you end up with "unclear thinking".

02 How to break the "curse of knowledge"

Normally, you don't need to do anything deliberately, just follow the steps. You've been in the industry for a long time, you've been with the leaders for a while, and you've got a tacit understanding that habit becomes natural.

But if you are a more motivated person, the situation is different.

Because you may have to deal with different leaders and clients regularly, you need to have a set of fixed methods to better seize opportunities and save time and opportunity costs.

So how exactly do we break the 'curse of knowledge?

The essence of "breaking" is very simple, that is, the other party's "knowledge", digging it out of his head.

Of course, you don't have to dig it out, and you don't need mind reading, telepathy, or any other superpowers. The fact is that you'll need to ask questions and repeat them to "copy" the other person's "knowledge".

Of course, you can't ask questions blindly or ask whatever comes to mind, and you can't ask questions in an uncontrolled manner. This will not only make the other person think that we are not doing things in a "proper" way, but will also leave the impression that we are "unreliable".

How can we ask questions in a way that's both powerful and gets us the answers we want?

It's simple: use the "golden circle rule".

03 The invincible "golden circle rule"

An experienced leader can tell the ability of his subordinates by the questions they ask.

If a subordinate is always asking: "What am I going to do next?"

This is an average ability.

If the subordinate is always asking the question, "Why do we have to do it?"

It is worthwhile to develop this subordinate.

Two different kinds of questions reflect two completely different ways of thinking, and the final result of execution is worlds apart. This is like asking two people who are both building a wall on a construction site what they are doing.

One replies, "I'm building a wall."

The other replies, "I'm building a magnificent church."

Simon Sinek summed up the latter way of thinking about people and came up with a simple model - the 'Golden Circle Rule'.

It assumes three levels of what a business or individual does.

What is it that is being done? How do you do it? Why does it?

Why - the innermost circle: goals, missions, beliefs

How - the middle circle: how to do it, the methods and strategies used

What - the outermost circle: the specific "what to do"

Through the three levels of questions, we can dig out a more complete picture of the other person's motivation, perceptions, and expectations of the matter.

Only based on these can we give a targeted action strategy and implementation plan. In the end, even if things don't work out, we can still leave a good impression that the other party will do something, can do something, and is reliable.

The next step is to explain in detail the use of the "Golden Circle".

There are three layers: the why, then the how, and finally the what.

Take the example of buying a chair.

polo ralph Lauren polo ralph lauren outlet

You and your leader are having tea in the company's lounge area and the leader asks you to go and buy some chairs and come back.

You ask the leader: "Chairs, yes. What is the purpose of adding new chairs? There seem to be enough chairs in the pantry"

Leader: "Oh, I'm talking about the chairs for the meeting room, not the pantry."

You then ask, "Oh, okay. I think there are still a few in the old conference room, how about that style?"

Leader: "Well, the original chairs were too big, and they need to be smaller so that they can seat more people and facilitate group meetings."

ralph Lauren polo How - how to do it

At this point, the goal is clear, you can go and do some research, give a few options depending on the situation, and detail the advantages and disadvantages of each option and give your opinion.

Many people here give options without giving advice is not right, on the surface is cautious, the actual responsibility is thrown to the superiors, and the right and wrong results are the superiors.

It is important to know that in reality, the final consequences, will still come back to us in different forms, so it is better to give advice painfully at the very beginning.

Ralph Lauren polo ralph Lauren polo ralph Lauren outlet

This one is pretty simple, just follow the goal plan, nothing special.

Everyone's brain is a black box, the golden circle rule is a detection tool that can help us effectively parse out the other person's thoughts and reduce unnecessary communication, not to mention consuming the other person's patience and trust by making mistakes over and over again.


In The Godfather, there is a classic line: "People who spend half a second seeing things for what they are, and people who spend a lifetime not seeing them, are destined to have very different fates".

The most important thing to avoid is making a blind effort, and the harder you try, the more tragic it is.

Using the "Golden Circle Rule", parsing each other's thinking, grasping the essence of things, and breaking the "curse of knowledge", is the right way to perform.

advicefact or fictionhow tohumanity

About the Creator


Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.