Many of us are aware, or have used, the Conscious-Competence 2×2. This two by two runs from unconscious incompetence, we do not know and are unaware we do not know. A skill we do not know about such as never needed to learn how to talk Ibo (look up where people speak this and see whether this is the case). Then we move to conscious incompetence, the knowledge of not knowing there; knowing you do not speak Italian. Then conscious competence; speaking the Ibo or Italian but having to always think about it, maybe thinking in your native language and then translating in your head to voice the words. Finally, unconscious competence – able to converse and think through to argue football tactics and the results of the latest games with native Italian and Ibo speaking football lovers.

In this World of fake news, too much data, constant demands on us to provide more input and / or output, here is a postulation:-

Don’t Know – Don’t Care My life is good and I am great in my World
Do Know – (still) Don’t Care Know about this but really?
Don’t Know – Do Care Will find out; but how?Do Know – Do Care Know and I am using knowledge to do something positive

So What?

Don’t Know – Don’t Care

For many of us, this is a great place to be. We are aware of what we need to know, know it well and get on with our lives, loves and livelihoods. My Father possibly fell in to this bracket; he knew and had experienced a great, great, deal but, later in life, chose to ignore much he knew he would not influence and issues not influencing his own wellbeing and happiness. Could speak eruditely on numerous subjects, would voice opinion on rare occasions and, in the main, kept his own counsel and acted decisively when the situation merited action. Made him a self-made business man significant to those his life impacted.

Perhaps, in later life, we all go to a subdivision in life? Don’t want to know because I know it will not impact on me and my wellbeing?

Don’t Know – Do Care

Here, the mind wakes and there can be a sense of frustration as one realises there are knowledge gaps. Can these gaps be defined? If yes, all well and good. If no, frustrations can spill over as caring leads to seeking sources of information. Information is regularly corrupted data twisted to agendas of those disseminating this information. Your emotions will drive your head and you can find yourself in tricky settings.

Take care.

Do Know – (still) Don’t Care

Positions of strength in many respects as you are able to articulate the knowhow in a dispassionate way. This position can lead to superciliousness on the part of some. We have all met the smug person sitting in the front of the room, leaning back in his, usually a man, chair holding forth with an air of ‘Yes, yes, yes, I know all this and really do not know why I am bothering with you little people’

Be cautious from these positions, they are positions of strength but always remember other people do care and may want to tap into your knowledge; being dispassionate should not lead to not caring about other people (even if you are wholly ambivalent about a subject or cause)

Do Know – Do Care

Here we are, possibly the highest form where we see people able to communicate a subject with a passion as well as an authority. Perhaps Professor Stephen Hawking was the latest great exponent of this position.

People in this category are the real motivators in this World. Be aware there are numerous politicians professing to be here but as soon as the secondary question is asked, the shallowness of the knowledge is exposed. Never believe a person who says things like ‘The three priorities for my administration are education, education and education’ Firstly the ‘my’ is a giveaway, this person, and the example in mind was definitely in this category of a superficial charlatan (Brits will recognise the paraphrasing of one of our recent PMs). What happened to the sense of being engaged with all of us? Secondly, the repetition of the important element is regularly a giveaway the person has sat in the speaking and presentation workshop but does not have the substance to go with it. In the case concerned, Tony Blair went on to stop a move toward the UK having an International Baccalaureate to get away from the political hijacking of exam results where the exams have come to mean less and less for the employability of young people seeking employment.

Another great example (to clear the mind of superficial rhetoricians): Nelson Mandela; a passion, a knowledge, the experiences of having stood by his principles and the skills to communicate the experiences, knowledge, with a passion to overcome so many obstacles. How he must wonder what has happened as ignorance and hate slid insidiously back in to undermine his Rainbow Nation.

And so, as we look to create our mindfulness, we need to focus whilst keeping an open mind. To know what we know, be open to saying ‘I do not know about this or that’ Possibly realise there is a need to be a team actor where not knowing is definitely not a weakness but a sign of strength and the basis for institutional knowledge and true team working. Perhaps this is the point with regard to Nelson Mandela – the institutions did not grow strong enough and not enough people knew their positions in the other three boxes? Let us all become carers and knowledgeable enough to know or know we do not know – But know a person who does know.

Have a thoughtful, reflective, learning day

Take care to learn.