Dysfunctional Knowledge

Dysfunctional Knowledge

Learning has, and always will be a natural state of being, regardless of whether we do this on a conscious or unconscious level.

Sitting in a classroom has long been the indoctrinated way of learning, and the preferred method implemented in the controlled distribution of information absorbed and the way we think out the world we live in, ourselves and others.

This has been done in such a way, few of us connect the dots and are able to see the bigger picture. A very similar situation to the ‘need to know’ protocols within government and the cells of any international terrorist group, which for many around the world are one and the same thing.

This disconnected knowledge base, helps keep us in a state of ignorance and therefore performing and operating at a lower level of ability. Many of us say we wish to ‘be our very best selves’ but how many of us actually connect the dots in the learning we undertake and the courses and programmes we offer to our clients, and our students?

In the UK schooling system, we used to have cross-curricular learning. People like myself who would spend time in lessons connecting the dots of information given to us by our teachers from various lessons, would be accused of ‘daydreaming’.  When raising our arms in the air to ask a question, we would often be told to put our hands down and stop asking the ‘difficult questions’ forming in our mind.

Difficult for whom? And why should we stop asking questions if school really, truly is a place to learn?

As business leaders, we are the ones who on the whole continued to ask these ‘difficult questions’, continued to ‘daydream’ and refused to back down when told ‘no’ was the answer. We wanted a yes, or clarity, and if no one was going to give it to us, we were most certainly going to find it for ourselves.

Over the years, I have looked at course offering after course offering on the market and I have to say I have lost interest in the regurgitated material that keeps coming out. Single subject focus, mediocre content with fancier adjectives, and the limiting 3D way of looking at things.

There is very little innovation or activism, and although many talk about a ‘holistic’ methodology, the depth of holistic practices tends to be a superficial sprinkling of fairy dust that looks good and yet delivers very little.

So what happens when those of us who want something deeper, more powerful, something that is going to raise our game, create awareness and positive global impact like the world has never seen before cannot find something stimulating and worthwhile investing in?

The answer is simple, we create our own offering.

The various entrepreneurial and CEO courses out there on the market focusing on leadership or public speaking at a ‘new’ level, and the plethora of courses out there for CEOs and Entrepreneurs quite frankly bored me. The marketing is great, but scratch beneath the surface and I could have delivered many of them in my sleep over ten years ago.

This may sound arrogant, but when you consider people like myself have been in business since before social media became a thing, and attending a weeklong business seminar would have commanded an investment of £10,000 per person in the late 90’s, it is understandable we find it a challenge to find something worthwhile investing in with all the white noise out there.

Back in the day, the seminars would be filled with internal and external motivators, systems, goal setting and planning, time management, leadership, abundance and alignment to purpose, all whilst making the world a better place, and those of us who attended these programmes are hungry for the next level of this with fellow insatiable learners and networkers.

I am a woman who has a thirst and passion for knowledge, learning and implementation, always have been always will be. I am not here to keep this knowledge to myself; I am here to share it with others so I can help make this world a better place, leaving it in a better state than when I arrived here on earth.

The courses on offer now just seem as tired as a pair of your granny’s old moccasin slippers that should have been buried along with her, with her apron that had flour and jam all over the front from making the jam tarts on a Sunday morning before the roast lunch was ready.

Yes, they may have the new techniques of social media thrown in to make them the best thing since a meal replacement shake for the busy executive, but the fundamentals of business are still the same.

Many talk about spiritual alignment, but only because it is the latest buzz word for the buzzword bingo played in boardrooms around the world, or should I say zoom rooms?

Many also talk about being highly empathic, or tuned into energy, but still don’t know how to connect the dots with the various lessons they have learnt over the years, and how to apply it in all areas of life and business. They have focused on a subject, enjoyed it and stuck with it.

Let’s take leadership for example. We can study all the leadership models we like, but unless we understand culture and diversity, different religions, gender learning differences and the masculine and the feminine energies, these leadership models don’t really mean anything.


Because how can they be effective in business, communities, schools and family life if the complexities of human nature, along with the paradoxes and subtleties of communication are not understood?

A yellow landscape may be teeming with life and represent happiness in one person’s perspective: flowers, butterflies, bees, birds and insects galore in the field of daffodils or oil seed rape, but ask someone from various parts of Africa what a yellow landscape represents to them and they will say empty, dead, barren and misery due to the scorching heat and desert sands where nothing is able to live and grow.

How can we create global movements, ‘helping those in need’ in poorer countries if we do not understand them and their history from their perspective? From their reference points and knowledge base? Thinking we can help them without understanding them is no better than the arrogant of the colonials going into Africa to save the savages hundreds of years ago.

A few years ago when I sailed into Vanuatu with the Oyster Rally, we were met by some of the richest people I had ever met, and they didn’t have a penny to their name. Whilst all the yacht owners and crew members went to the bars and all the tourist attractions, meeting with the ‘village chiefs’ for prestige points, I sat with the local ladies making palm plates, cooking local dishes with them, whilst singing and dancing with the children to the English nursery rhymes they had learnt.

I was invited into the villages where no tourists were allowed, walked the paths of the forests being shown private beaches only the locals got access to. I swam in the ocean with the children and becoming Aunty to about a dozen or so children.

On the night of our departure when the Port Resolution dinner was over and we were leaving, Angela and my new family walked over to me with a beautiful basket filled with fruits and gifts her and all the women and children in the villages around the island has made for me. I was overcome with joy and gratitude, we all hugged, and tears of joy and sadness were shed. The Chief looked on in surprise, as did the yacht owners.

Why did this happen? Because I hadn’t gone to the island with pity or offerings of cheap eyeglasses or provisions to ‘make their life better’, the pity currency of many global movements. I had gone to meet friends and family I hadn’t met yet and to learn from them, to eat with them and to share time and space with them.

The cheap ‘one size fits all’ reading glasses taken by those yacht owners were no good to the locals, what they needed were snorkel masks to prevent the salty water from damaging their eyes in the first place.

They didn’t need half the ‘gifts’ taken to the island by these well meaning yachties, they needed solutions to the challenge they had, such as the rising number of glass bottles stockpiling up on their island, which they had to pay hefty sums of money to have removed by the government operating from Port Vila.

Only when we take a moment to take a step back and put all the jigsaw pieces together, cross referencing with different aspects of life around the world will we ever be able to elevate our understanding of each other, allowing us to serve humanity from a higher space of consciousness.

We will also be in a much stronger position to help prevent many of the major problems we are facing in the world today. Hunger and poverty, division and disease only exist because governments around the world want them to. Don’t believe me? Then connect the dots of all the information that is literally at the touch of a few buttons.

Like I said, the problem is many of us are just not willing to connect the dots, it’s just a bit too confronting. We don’t connect our knowledge bases in case we get something wrong and lose face, which is one of the reasons so many intelligent people have an abundance of dysfunctional knowledge, which isn’t the foundation of great leadership regardless of how much we’d like to think it is.

Our knowledge is only useful and powerful when we are prepared to open Pandora’s box and dive right in, joining Alice and the Caterpillar for tea with the white rabbit, the question is, are you prepared to go down the rabbit hole to find out just how strong the tea really is?

Until the next time folks, be blessed as always,

Ms Mermaid

If you would like to know more about my up and coming 7 Month AUTHORity MasterMind, or any others in the AUTHORity Collection, then drop me a message via https://dawnbates.com/contact

Thought-provoking content is what Dawn is known for, as well as her non-stop travel around the world by sailboat and her trademark giggle. To learn more about Dawn, visit www.geni.us/dawnbates.

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