Everyone Knows


Everyone knows.

Everyone knows the world is flat.

Everyone knows that man cannot fly.

Everyone knows their football team is the best (even if they have to wait until next year!).

Everyone knows who to blame for a bad economy.

Everyone knows why the weather is warmer (or colder) this year.

Everyone knows where to find the best burger in town.

Everyone knows what schools are supposed to teach.

Everyone knows where to hear the best music.

Everyone knows that businesses without social media will fail.

Everyone knows who is smartest.

Everyone knows their data is protected.

Everyone knows.

So let me ask, if everyone knows then why is there frequent disagreement? Why are there still failures and problems?

To be honest, I’m sure everyone does know why. It’s just not the same “why.”

Typically our opinion is not from pure original thought but from the ideas, facts and opinions we absorb from those around us. Often how we think is how the people around us think. Everyone does not really mean everyone. It means everyone around us. Well, everyone around us most of the time.

Some views of the world we absorb are more obvious, whether we pick up habits of people who eat healthy and exercise or who steal and cheat. However, there millions of little things that we may not stop to consider. These accumulate and define our world for us. Without proper consideration, our view of the world is not really our view. It is the view of those we spend time with, whether in person, online or even those we watch on television or read online.

Assuming everyone sees the world as you do is a horrible position if you need to communicate well with others, whether it be personal or professional. Limiting your time to only those that share your view of the world reinforces this problem.

“Everyone knows” says you can repeat what you’ve heard, not that you understand something from more than one perspective. “Everyone knows” is a lazy way to fool yourself that you are correct and that others should believe you too.

Honestly working to understand the perspectives of others does not show weakness in your beliefs. In fact, it shows you have the strength to be you and the acceptance that everyone else is not you. In the end, your success is not dependent on what everyone knows. It is dependent on what you know about yourself and what you understand about others.


Glenn S. Phillips is the author of Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. His website, www.nerdtoenglish.com, will lead you to more information about effective communication training, risk assessments and genuinely helpful tips. You can email Glenn directly at glennsphillips@nerdtoenglish.com.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved.  Glenn S. Phillips and Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.