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There Is A Difference Between Knowledge And Understanding

We aren’t teaching you how to do what you do. Your skill, your industry….. is yours. We are taking a step back. In some instances, “unteaching” things we learned because we didn’t know any better. Things that were adopted and passed on from an industrial era have served us well and now need to be added to and modified.

We are taking the time to connect the bigger pieces. How they fit together and affect our clients, our own businesses and portfolios, our personal relationships and what we put into the world. There isn’t a line in the sand separating work/ personal/ families/ etc in today’s digital era/ knowledge era. We have to make a conscious choice to adapt in a positive way.

5 Stages of Mastery

We teach the 5 stages of Mastery where along the path, you have to learn the application of a skill. Knowing the skill is only step TWO. Applying the skill is step THREE. Mastery has a total of FIVE steps. So if the act of knowing and doing is only half of the path, where does the rest of the journey go? It comes in understanding. Some would say this can be demonstrated in the ability to re-teach a skill to someone else effectively. Some would say this could be shown in the ability to apply it in different scenarios or problems. Statistically, only 10% of people willfully master a skill. 60% of people may do a skill in an average rating however only 10% will work to a mastery level. So where can we work to be different? What’s the differentiator?

Step back. Look at the skill you know so finitely and see it from a different perspective. Debate the other side. Explain it to someone who has no idea what you are talking about. Dumb it down before you sharpen it up. Now look again. I often ask people to talk less and listen more. Put out in the world more of what you need and see what you get back… we are so out of tune with what we need ourselves, that how can we possibly understand what others are needing? Seem a little off-topic? Not really. If you are so very zeroed in on what is important to you and the mastery of your skill, yet you don’t realize that what makes your product unique or special isn’t what you are looking at then you are missing the entire need. You are missing the entire application. Your product or service will be flop to no fault of its own.

If your service is amazing but your delivery time is a miss and you can’t seem to deliver on time (maybe not your fault but a reality in today’s economy), you may never see success. How do you fix it?

If your machine saves lives yet one tiny gasket takes the entire production line down for 3 days at a time and no one ever tells the engineering team because your internal conflict style ceases to exist not only are lives not saved but your business suffers, and no one is the wiser! (You may have mastered the skill of building this amazing, life-saving device that no one can manufacture. Mastery of one skill but not the correct one.)

If your business runs amazingly, record-breaking margins, amazing employee retention and satisfaction scores, rave customer reviews, on-time deliveries, yet your children haven’t seen you in weeks and your spouse is considering divorce, mastery of many skills (you may claim) but at the cost of what?

The Knowledge Era

The digital era is more appropriately the knowledge era. We can know most things in a matter of seconds right from our phone or wrist. We have become impatient with our lack of knowing. But knowing isn’t understanding. Understanding is the differentiator. Do we understand why our customers do business with our competitors rather than us? Do we know when they are being truthful about that answer? Do we know how to identify the GAPS in our own business and TRUST our employees to conflict and give us the information they have gathered on our behalf? Have we built a culture that allows that information to freely pass through our gates? Have we mastered THAT intangible skill? (Think about that twice before you answer and make sure it’s not your ego answering but make a list of the last THREE times an employee brought you information that was only attainable from a client-facing interaction that you didn’t already know.) When was the last time one of your kids needed help with their homework or you were at school drop off? When was the last time you surprised someone in your family with something meaningful to them and out of your comfort zone?

Self Awareness Tips and Tricks Video

For every moment we can have information at our fingertips, we should also know we can step away and safely be ok for a few hours or a day or two to take care of the things we work so hard to have, like the people in our lives, and not be attached to work. It will be right there when we get back.

Writing this and reading this, can seem philosophical to a point. However, these are very real concerns for people today. Yes, we can put our phones down and go to dinner. Yes, we can trust our employees. Yes, our employees know things they are uncomfortable telling us. Yes, we are good at our jobs but we most likely haven’t mastered our skill quite yet.

Oxygen Coaching Group does train on some of these very specific topics, and they are near and dear to our soul because we know how deeply they affect business, margin, closing rates, families that eat together, employee retention rates, getting to see your kids dance recital or at-bats. Family vacations, friendships, employee satisfaction, even our own personal happiness.

We all need the ability to step back. Knowledge isn’t power, understanding is power. We can all have knowledge, understanding is the differentiator. Understanding requires us to invest in listening, seeking the RIGHT information at the RIGHT time from the RIGHT people. That is where people go from information at their fingertips to information that is elevated and mastered!

For more information about helping you and your team become masters of their craft, apply for coaching or more information at or follow us on social media here:

FB: Kat Frey & the Oxygen Coaching Team @breatheoxygenin

Instagram: @katfreyandtheoxygencoaches

LinkedIn: KAT FREY & The Coaches at Oxygen Coaching Group

YouTube: OxygenEq

Employees feeling burnout? Check out a previous blog post here:

Kat founded a business coaching firm in 2017, Oxygen Equestrian (d.b.a. Oxygen Coaching Group) that originally focused on body language and life skills and has transformed to include executive coaching, sales training, and accountability coaching. Programs are designed to make anyone from the professional to the side hustler, more productive, more aware, and a better employer. Kat is a guest blogger and has been published on the e-publication Publish along with her first co-authored book being released Feb, 2022. Learn more about her animals, kids, and philanthropy at and sign up for a free coaching session.


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