Mr. I Know That!

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Henry: “Mary! I have a wonderful joke to tell you.”

Mary: “Yes! Go ahead please!”

Henry: “A man was looking for a job. One day he went to the recruitment agency…”

Mary: “Ah! I know the joke. I was told me that one.”

Henry: “OK! I have got another one; A police officer was on his motorcycle. He saw a child on the road…”

Mary: “I know that too! I do not remember who told me that joke, but I know that…”

In the example above, Henry wanted to tell Mary some jokes. She did not let him finish. She used the phrase “I know”. Apparently, it looks like there is no problem here. A man wants to tell his friend a joke, but he discovered that his friend already knows it. But do you think Henry will tell Mary another one? If you think so, he must be the only person who does in history.

When we tend to tell someone something funny, and we notice that they already know it, we do not continue. We wish to stop the discussion immediately. We do not feel together, and we just change the topic. This is when we try to tell a joke. When we are in more serious situations like the process of training, and we are teaching someone a new skill, procedure or set of information, one of the last things we want to happen is to hear the phrase “I know that” from him.

When you are in a training session with someone, who might be highly educated, or who might possess fewer certificates than yours or even is less academic than you are, all you have to do is to open your mind and not your mouth, unless you are asked to say something or you get the permission to speak.

For you the synonyms of “I know that” are one of the following:

  • We studied it,
  • You said it yesterday,
  • I saw it elsewhere,
  • I read an article about that,
  • I found it in on the Internet,
  • I was taught that in another place,
  • There is no need to hear that from you,
  • My friend told me this information.

The phrase “I know that” MUST BE AVOIDED AND NEVER UTTERED UNLESS YOU ARE ASKED IF YOU KNOW WHAT THE TRAINER IS EXPLAINING. Making people see you as a knowledgeable person makes you feel important in your eyes only. On the other hand, the stressed person in charge of training the trainee will look at it differently. “I know that” is deciphered this way by him:

  • After all the effort I made, he says he knows it,
  • My information is not valuable to him,
  • Why am I wasting my time?
  • This trainee fatigues me,
  • Can this trainee just wait until I finish?
  • This trainee might not listen to our customers,
  • Am I going to get interrupted all the time?
  • I left my work to waste my time on someone who thinks he knows, while he is still in the training period.

In the next chapter, we will discover what happens when someone speaks in the middle of our speech and why some people react violently in such situations, but before moving to it, let us remember the following:

You should ever say that you know something which is being said to you. The trainer wants to give information, and since most companies are small, those instructors are not training specialists. What happens is that people who train the trainees are employees who have other work to do and deadlines to respect. Yet, they devote time to teach you. So, please make it easier for them.

It is true that many instructors would like to save energy through not repeating what is already known. Most of the time, instructors need to finish their sentences and have their speech not interrupted. It is energy consuming, and if “I know that” is said to them every time they speak, they will start avoiding teaching the trainee. The one who loses the more is not the trainer.


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