Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality — Dalai Lama

Sanna Miller, the author of this article, second from the right

Author: Sanna Miller, Quality and Process Improvement Manager, Sweden

One of Bigbank’s core values is development. We all know that training helps our business run better. Trained employees are better equipped to handle customer inquiries, make a sale or use computer systems. That’s why we developed our training and development system and create a new training plan annually.

But what about sharing your knowledge? Is it even needed? Why?

From moral through personal to commercial, there are many reasons why you should share your knowledge. In today’s knowledge-based industry, knowledge is power. Sharing knowledge positions you as an expert and helps you seamlessly move to the leadership role. They say that what goes around comes around.

If you gain a reputation for sharing what you know, knowledge will chase you and you will find that many people are interested in sharing their knowledge with you. People start trusting you with their knowledge. Paradoxically, when you share your knowledge, you receive more knowledge. When you share your knowledge, you learn.

While you are sharing the knowledge, your listener could bring in some information that will complement your knowledge set and help you see connections and similarities between disparate circumstances.

Sharing knowledge helps you in building your network. If you choose your audience and your topic carefully, you can end up with a whole number of influential people who know what you know and who are in a position to help you.

Finally, sharing knowledge is uplifting. It makes you happy and proud of yourself. Your self-esteem goes up and you become a happier person.

It’s interesting that more and more evidence shows that employee happiness is a huge reason why companies are able to earn more and be more successful. What is Bigbank doing for this today? Actually, a lot, and here is a story about one of these events.

I’ve worked almost five years in Bigbank. During all these years, I have truly learned enormously! But what’s the point of knowledge if you don’t share it, right?

​That’s why Bigbank decided to participate in a panel discussion for small and medium-sized companies in Estonia who have an interest and desire to start or expand export to Sweden. The Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the event and asked me to be the representative from the Swedish branch.

The participants had a lot of questions and thoughts. To name some, they were interested in what unites Swedes and Estonians and what differs them apart. They also wanted to know if the picture of Estonia has changed in Sweden recently and what you should and shouldn’t talk about with Swedes.

Overall, it is interesting that even if we are so close, we still don’t know each other so much. ​Wh​at ​I mean is ​that a lot of Swedes have still never been to Estonia. At the same time, a lot of Estonians think that Swedes are highly developed nation, culturally. Thus, in their opinion the best openers in conversation are history, books and music.

In reality, it doesn’t work like that. Swedes leave it for French people. Instead, we talk about​:​

  • weather — very original
  • holiday places — Estonians and Swedes are very similar in this case, they love to travel
  • sports — be careful with hockey and football, take something neutral like tennis and golf
  • families — kids and dogs are always a good idea
  • if you really want to talk about music, you can talk about Eurovision.

Swedes are pretty simple people. In most cases. But, there are some taboos. Never joke about the following in Sweden: homosexuals, feminism, immigrants, refugees. There are some cases in Sweden, when people got fired from the companies with this specific sense of humour. Otherwise, you can always complain about taxes, politics, ​and ​bureaucracy.

Last but not least as one of the panellists, Anders Hedman told, “Never forget to say “thank you” in Sweden. This is serious!”