Become more resilient by learning to access your tacit knowledge

Image: MoteOo
Image: MoteOo

One of the benefits of hindsight is realizing that we know much more than we think we know. Experts call this “tacit knowledge”—the vast knowledge we accumulate through experience. Each interaction, activity, observation, insight and intuition is merged to create our ever-growing tacit knowledge. Some describe it as the submerged portion of the “knowledge iceberg.” Tacit knowledge is different for each of us and is difficult to communicate. Learning to appreciate and access our own knowledge bank is a critical resilience strategy.

Research has shown that arts-based or visual tools are helpful in accessing tacit knowledge. Collage and concept mapping are two techniques that have been useful. An example of a simple and effective tool is mind mapping developed by Tony Buzan. A simple mind map can be created with a pen or pencil and a blank sheet of paper. Write a word or phrase in the centre of the page, draw a circle around it and then add words and phrases as they come to mind. Connect related concepts/topics with lines and work quickly to bypass your internal editor. Return and add new topics until your mind map feels complete. Using colour and images enhances the process. For inspiration, check out the following video and Pinterest board or do a web search for mind mapping software.

How to Use a Mind Map – with Tony Buzan

Examples of mind mapping at B.J. Nicolas’ Pinterest Board

This article was originally published as “Resilience Tip #12: You know more than you think” in Our Voice (March 2013) e-newsletter produced by Disability Alliance BC.