Saturday, January 23, 2010

Knowledge vs. Communication? - is POWER.

Question Of The Day: 'Knowledge is Power' - or is Communication more powerful? How close is the relationship between acts of communication and power?

It is one thing to be knowledgeable and well versed in a specific field, but another level to be able to communicate such knowledge effectively. The power to influence and persuade comes through being able to speak, write and express oneself through some sort of medium eloquently. To be able to articulate ones ideas clearly, in its simplest way possible for all to understand. The key to persuasion is in the details, the simple ones.

Generally, people are more receptive to things that are significant to them that they can relate to - no one likes to be bombarded with incomprehensible jargon or the complexities of things alien to them. Adding a bit of color to the black and white makes things just that much more interesting to capture people's attention - in their hearts and minds. This is when charisma comes into play.

Charisma is something that can be nurtured but most of the time, comes naturally to a select few. Rooted from the Greek word 'kharisma', which literally means 'gift or favored by the divine/Gods'. Charisma is the magnet that draws people in. It is the 'spark' that ignites passion and fervent devotion or loyalty of others. Simply put, it is Prince Charming's kiss that wakes sleeping beauty up from her slumber to bring her back to life.

Many great leaders all have one thing in common - they are all 'blessed' with this ability. Leading not only through example but also through 'charming' the public with their words and being. They have the ability to be detached and attached on a personal level to almost anyone, at the same time. Somewhat of an oxymoron if you may or walking contradictions of detailed-simplicities.

Arguably, one of the most influential writers of all time that embodies such talent is Paulo Coelho (see photo on top). The world renowned Brazilian author of 'The Alchemist'. A book that has sold over 65 million copies worldwide making it one of the most best-selling books in history. Translated into more than 67 languages, the book found its place in the Guiness Book of Records for being the most translated book by a living author. In 2007, Coelho was named a 'messenger of peace' to the United Nations.

His chosen medium - prose. Sometimes philosphical, other times just mere common sense. Paulo Coelho's magic lies in a mystical world of story-telling.

His writing heavily influenced by his background, culture and life experience. He writes about the harsh realities of life, the beautiful mess we all live in. Of the pain, suffering, joy, happiness, chaos and peace we all experience, only to vary in degree and circumstance. But the emotions are all the same in essence. This is how he connects with readers and 'charms' them in with his words. Relating with readers on such a level gives them a sense of affiliation to his stories. Helping them understand themselves better on a deeper level and rationalize their thoughts, fears and emotions. Through his powerful prose, he reaches out and touches many lives, both young and old.

Answer: Without effective communication - the magic of Prince Charming's kiss and some color sprinkled onto the black and white, Knowledge IS Power-less.



  1. i feel like communiction is more powerful than knowledge. People who can communicate can "borrow" knowledge and use it to influence others. They can get more ahead in career or life than people with knowledge but lack the ability to share it.

  2. I concur. Potential is nothing unless tapped into. One need not 'know' much (book smarts) to be able to influence or persuade (depending on the context of the situation too). But both elements combined make an unbeatable duo.

  3. if you are thinking of influencing a person through charisma that will depend on who you are talking too. If you are speaking to a knowledgeable person who knows the topic at the palm of his hand or a "thinking" person. Superficial knowledge will not get anywhere or influence his way of thinking. In addition, without learning and discovering, how would you know what you have been told is correct. To borrow knowledge is to assume that something is correct even before discovering or ascertaining it for your trueself. In this case you will only be able to "deceive" those who wants to believe you or just be entertained by charisma.

  4. Hi Stranger,

    Thanks for droppin' by and leaving a comment.

    I also agree with everything that you said. A "thinking" person is not easily fooled. However, if this person were speaking to someone charismatic, he/she would be abit more receptive to the view-points of others. Not necessarily having to believe them but it keeps their doors open for consideration.

    No doubt there are people out there whom of which are extremely charismatic that use this 'special gift' to deceive people. Hence the need for good judgement.

  5. ps. Who are you stranger? (just curious)

  6. Charisma is such an over-rated talent. Will you be afraid to talk to someone who has charisma? Since they have the power to change your mind.

    By the way, its strange to describe charisma as being a feeling awoken by prince charming's kiss. That experience would be a feeling when you found the love of your life.

  7. ps. Who are you stranger? (just curious)

    I was diagnosed to be a charismatic "thinking" person.

    And yourself?

  8. Talking to someone Charismatic just makes a conversation alittle more exciting and interesting i feel. It doesn't necessarily mean that they will be able to influence or persuade me. My point is that it helps and can make a big difference if comapred to someone just stating facts. Alittle fluff never hurt anyone.

    Ultimately, it is up to my own discretion and logic to believe what i want and not to be fooled by baseless arguements or irrational ideas. And if one choses to believe a bag of lies, then thats just unfortunate? We all still have choices.

    In describing Charisma using 'Prince Charming', i was hoping to convey a point on how Charismatic people have the ability to 'wake' someone up. The ability to inspire people and motivate them. Yes it is also a feeling when you find the love of your life. It is a similar sense of excitement and euphoria to feel 'alive'.

  9. i would say knowledge is more powerful than communication. because without it you'd be doing a lot of pointless/ineffective communicating about nothing.

  10. Thanks for that The. Although one can also gain alot of knowledge through good communication. So like i said, no doubt knowledge is important. But communication is equally as important as well.

  11. i was juusst sayin if i had to choose one or the other. no doubt they work best hand in hand.

  12. so from your arguments i see that you are holding the point of view that both effective communication and knowledge is equally important and the lack of either one is ineffective. This. I agree.

    By the way, a charismatic person doesn't entertain they are mostly selfish people who do things to get what they want because they can do so. True Charisma is inborn and cannot be learnt. It is the ability to hynoptize and mesmerize can be considered a psychic talent.

  13. From what I gather, the point of this blog post/entry is to highlight charisma as an effective means of communication or conveying opinions, disciplines, schools of thoughts, et. al. NOT the accuracy of the subject matter / topic / actual message nor the credibility of the charismatic individual.

    A knowledgeable person may not be charismatic in nature or have excellent communication skills but have the ability to move the world through music, inventions, art, the sciences etc.

    A charismatic person may not be as knowledgeable, well-read or even literate but have the natural charm to move the world through sensitivity, human intuition.

    A communicator --knowledgeable, charismatic, both, or neither-- will always convey a message that he/she feels "right" so on that note, everyone is selfish to some extent. But, a communicator who can dialogue and utilizes the exchange in conversation as a learning process rather than a debate, will rise to be more knowledgeable and communicable.

  14. Good point on knowledgable people moving the world through other means of invention, art, etc. This versus charismatic people whom of which rely on emotional intelligence or EQ. Very true.

    And yes, my entries are merely to highlight not prove anything. Sheding light on certain topics for discussion. To each his own. All opinions are respected. :-)

  15. Hi DetailedSimplicity,

    Reading from your comments you seem like a nice person and i would like to apologize for my OTT comments. Its my pathetic way of actually accessing someone. I would prefer to make a friend than making foes. Do you MSN?

  16. Unfortunately i don't MSN. But i would be nice to know who you are?

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  19. Hahaha looks like you have gotten yourself some attention through this blog eh?

    Personally, I advocate Communication. Too many times I have seen charlatans work 'their' magic onto unsuspecting victims. Braggarts use the same modus operandi as well. However, that method will not be possible without some basic knowledge or fundamental.

    Take a car salesman for example. He HAS TO HABE a basic udnerstanding of cars before he can persuade a customer to buy

    Thus I think that Communication is more powerful only if knowledge is present in the first place. Communication can amplify an outsider's perception of the amount of knowledge you have.

  20. heh. I still don't know who it is. Communication is a broad subject and can be very powerful depending on how it is utilized. However, knowledge and the ability to communicate effectively definitely come hand in hand.

  21. Great post! Paulo Coelho is undeniably one of the most influential writers of our time. The Alchemist is a must read for both skeptics and believers in the wonders of the universe.