Is your social media feed filled with self proclaimed experts? Mine is! On a good day I’m inspired and curious and want to know more about why and how they are experts. On a bad day, I’m angry and frustrated with a side order of jealously.
Now I don’t regard myself as an expert, I still think with 30+ years business turnaround and coaching experience, and MBA, professionally qualified as a coach and a handful of other very specific business qualifications I am still work in progress. But I do believe I am someone who can make a difference to many businesses. I deliver achievement.
An expert is someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study.
Becoming an expert requires not only the skills, knowledge and experience, there is more to it. Anders Ericsson is his formative article in Psychology Review 1993 – The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance added that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is also needed to gain expertise, it’s the tipping point, citing it as “the magic number of greatness.” However, there is bigger picture to expertise. Literature does not really detail the holistic picture on the expertise.
Expertism, authority and excellence- which one first?
Deliberate practice: The is your route to excellence and earning your EXPERT badge.
Deliberate practice is the name for the particular type of practice that will most effectively assist you to improve your performance and your expertise. Deliberate practice is practising your skills at a slightly higher level – continually challenging yourself to do better. Deliberate practice is characterised by specific goals, accurate feedback and orderly progression.
I found this great article written by a leading psychologist Professor Merim Bilalicat Northumbria University, he believes that the human brain is adaptable enough to enable anyone to become an expert if they practice correctly.
Merim looks into the brains of experts and says practice does make perfect, but only the right kind of practice – deliberate practice which consists of focused activities in a single aspect of performance, accompanied by feedback to help their improvement. It’s this repetitive practice in their area of expertise that enables them to be skilled masters.
Here’s the article: EXPERT COMMENT: What makes an expert
So the great news is that you can learn and it is never too late to become an expert by either developing your base knowledge within your current knowledge set, or in a brand new one.
How great is that you can learn to become and expert at something you love and you could earn more money as a result – how amazing is that? I have read and reread so many articles and books and sought guidance and advice from those I respect and am inspired by.
Try these 3 steps to becoming an expert and you too can revitalise your career and life and find a new and exciting path
1. Figure out what you love
Evaluate what you do – do what you love. What do you know right now that you are close to being an expert in? You are probably already an expert, or close to one, at what you are currently doing, so you can easily build upon that expertise and take it to the next level. This is a much easier, less time-intensive route to take than learning something entirely new.
However, if what you are currently doing no longer interests you then make this your first priority. Whatever route you take, what you choose to be an expert in has to be inspiring so that the necessary reading and learning seem effortless to you because it resonates with every fibre of your being. Everyone has one, some have more than one – you just need to find yours.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
Do one thing brilliantly. Clear your cluttered mind and focus on one subject at a time. Continual plate spinning and that stomach churning overwhelm will leave you confused, strung up and stressed out!
3. Remember that practice makes perfect
Becoming an expert overnight just isn’t going to happen. You are going to have to put a lot of work and dedication into becoming an expert at anything. Ever heard the phrase “There are no quick wins in business – it takes years to become and overnight success.” Sir Richard Branson.
There are many quotes and statements claiming it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery, and thus achieve the reverred status as “expert”. So whether ten thousand hours of practice is correct or not, it is definitely hundreds to thousands of hours of a combination of some, or all of the following. Here’s a short list of quickly identifiable elements of evidencing expert status.
- Personal Development – Is there evidence of a life long learning approach, such as reading books, online courses, attending development courses, attainment of qualifications, videos, attending seminars and training programs, learning from other experts within the field.
- Professional Qualifications – Do they have any? University of Life is all well and good – but is there any evidence to confirm they can actually deliver what they claim? Also the qualifications – in this age of everything online are they real qualifications that they have delivered and achieved excellence – or have they simply downloaded or certificate an attended a 2 hour online course.
- Practice – actually doing what you are learning. Does this expert live their values?
- Presentation – Are there evidence of the skills and expertise? Are there ways to document your findings. Create a blog or journal of the steps you are taking to understand the many facets of your newfound expertise. Write or speak at a conference about the trials and the resolutions so that others can learn from you. Teaching what you have learned to others will push you even further toward your goal of mastering your new field.
- Professional evidence – The most simple aspect to validate expert – are there a range of great reviews and testimonials?
The upside is that if you have truly found your passion – your thing, the work that doesn’t feel like work. It reminds me of that great quote: “Find a job that you love and you’ll never work another day in your life!”
So next time you see something on your social media feed and they are claiming they are experts, and BEFORE you make any financial investment or commitment – check them out. Are they professionally qualified, so they have the experience – have they clocked up the hours? What do people say about them? Are they self professed “experts” if so be cautious and check out whether others agree… you’ll be glad you did.
Finally if you want to stand out as an expert check out Lucy Griffiths’ great punchy training video. It’s short, sharp, punchy and she makes total brilliant sense! How to be an expert! How to be an expert!
Me – just in case you’re wondering….. an Executive MBA, Master Black Belt in process improvement, Prince2 in Project Management, NLP Master Practioner + 30 years business of turning around the performance of people, businesses and teams. Also 50+ five star reviews on Facebook all about The Master Fixer, my business coaching business. I don’t think of myself as an expert, more “work in progress.”
I’m playing with the idea of a Masters in Coaching and then a PhD – I think Doctor Davies-Carr sounds cool! 🙂 I’ll keep you posted.
The Master Fixer
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