Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There Are No Experts

Do you ever see a profile of someone that proclaims them a "social media expert"?

Hmmm....can they really know everything there is to know about their craft, are they able to apply it to any customer situation and articulate a strategic solution in any conundrum...Maybe? Outliers says 10,000 hours of experience is a prerequisite to expertise. So, if I work 8 hour days (like that exists anymore) at any job for five years, I am technically an expert?

My question then becomes:
At what point do I lose my expertise badge?

Is not the world of business changing at a rapid pace. If a software suite is upgraded to 2.0, do I then have to put another 10,000 hours into learning the upgrade? If I get to the point where a particular situation stumps me, is my expert badge revoked? Is there an Outliers police that drops down from the sky and changes my Linked In profile to former expert?

Allow me to advise the experts out there:
People like to be heard before they are instructed!

If you march into their office and start preaching; you will offend them. This regardless of your education, how many books you have written or how many followers you have.

Get off your soap box, loosen up that tie and listen.

'Tis better to become an expert communicator than to pretend to know everything about everything. Here is a simple guide to doing just that:
* Listen
* Diagnose before you prescribe
* Empower your audience to be part of problem solving
* Don't be a pompous ass!

I quote the Great Benjamin Folds: "It's OK if you don't know everything"

Don't Forget to Remember!


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