23/12/2014 23:40 GMT | Updated 22/02/2015 05:59 GMT

Are You Knowledgeable or a Know-It-All?

The A-Z Challenge: K is for Know-it-all. Shift negative to positive alphabetically.

Did you know that saying 'I don't know' when you don't know something, actually makes you look confident, not incompetent! But most of us prefer to provide answers for just about anything and everything and, inadvertently come across as a know it all.

Maybe you do have the answer and most probably do know-a-lot and, over time, you probably have mastered many things, learnt so many things. Did you know there is a difference between being knowledgeable and being a know-it-all? Being knowledgeable is good, being a know-it-all is not.


Share your know-how. But there's a time and place for it. Why? Well, a know-it-all can grate on people's nerves. It can make others allergic to you and alienate you. As a result, you may lose potential opportunities and hurt your reputation.

Keep your know-it-all attitude in check. How? Regularly ask yourself: What subjects or areas of expertise do I tend to be a know-it-all in? Who do I use my know-it-all attitude on? Why? Am I trying to impress friends, colleagues, boss...? How do those on the receiving end react to my know-it-all ways?

Know when to let others share their know-how. Keep what you know to yourself. Not because you're being miserly or because you want to make yourself indispensable, but because you want to learn from those around you.

Open your mind and be open to learning. Think you have it all figured out and you close your mind to new ideas and learning. Have confidence about what you know but keep your knowledge and understanding open - there's much more to come. Be a student of life and keep educating yourself.

Keep your curiosity muscles pumped up. Reconsider and revise your assumptions. Ask questions and turn your questions into a quest. Explore possibilities and possess a sense of wonder.

Be clear about what you know & what you don't know. When you don't-know something, confidently say 'I don't know'. It gives you the chance to know more and discover something new.

Be knowledgeable, not a know-it-all. Remember: it's what we learn after we know-it-all that counts! Why? Knowledge by itself is only information. It's when we apply and integrate that knowledge into our attitude and actions, that it becomes wisdom. And many would say, wisdom, not knowledge, is power.