A knowledge broker is someone who connects two different groups that have separate sets of knowledge but that need to work together, for example, scientists and policy makers. The concept of being a knowledge broker can be applied in smaller areas as well, like between departments at your company. But being a knowledge broker is also becoming its own job title. A knowledge broker often uses insider information to make a knowledge transfer, this can be technical knowledge, or otherwise.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, or if you want to become better at sharing knowledge between groups, then read on for our tips:
To be a knowledge broker, it’s important to be up to date on the latest trends and news. You won’t be able to successfully share knowledge if you’re not able to see where there is a need to make a connection. Knowing where there are gaps and where there needs to be collaboration is crucial to being a knowledge broker, and keeping up with the different industry news will help you identify that. You have to know what people care about.
When you’re a knowledge broker, you’ll be working with a wide variety of people. Because you’ll be connecting different groups that don’t share knowledge with each other yet, you need to be able to get along with both different groups. If you have a dynamic personality and a flexible attitude, you’ll be a great knowledge broker.
Being able to translate complex information into something that everyone can understand is an essential skill of being a knowledge broker. It isn’t enough to just have an understanding of the knowledge yourself, but you need to be able to disseminate it to a variety of people in a way that makes sense. You must avoid jargon and break it down in a teachable way.
Everyone’s experience is unique, and everyone knows something that you don’t. You’ll encounter many different ways of thinking, and it’s important to maintain your own confidence while building up others’ as well. When learning something new, people can be vulnerable if they can’t grasp it right away. It’s your job to empathize with their struggle and be patient. You may have to spend time thinking about the right way to present the knowledge for different people—your strategy will often vary from group to group.
As always, it helps if you’re not boring. People are often great at learning through narrative, so you should try to use that in your brokering. Telling a great story is likely to engage someone in the information, and can strengthen the likelihood of them remembering it as well. You should also ask them to demonstrate what they learned back to you, so you can double check that everything was understood.
As a knowledge broker, you need to be a decision maker and do your due diligence to ensure that your client or the business owner at least leaves with a working knowledge of the relevant information. The new knowledge base should become like practical knowledge to your target company.
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