What exactly is an expert? How can one word truly describe a person or thing?
Photo: Ralf Weiser, puzzled
Just recently someone reminded me to not call him an expert. Specialist sounded much better to him. It actually appeals better to me also. Experts are supposed to have a field of expertise that they possess significant more knowledge over the average individual. While most experts that I have dealt with in the past have illustrated and imparted their expertise just fine, there usually was something static about them. In a way they seemed to have reached the expert status and little continuous improvement activities were going on.
I give you an example how some of the not so great experts go to work. They might look at the façade of a building and then can tell you what the building MUST look like on the other side that you cannot see without going to the back. There are only few things in life that one MUST do. Accepting someone’s opinion based on their expert opinion is not one of them. You get the point.
In fairness, I cannot and will not generalize here either. I would be committing the same fallacy that I am criticizing above. It is all but impossible to attempt describing someone’s experience, expertise, life experience, passion, talents into one single term or word. There is just no way to fairly describe this. This is the reason why it is so important for all of us to think in terms of our personal brand and all the terms and attributes contributing to it. Once you ponder the above mentioned criteria you will be able to ponder a single tag line that describes who you are and what you are all about. Scan for a passion and talent of yours. Spend a significant amount of time on this topic and you will be able to attain a higher understanding and more importantly connect with the environment surrounding it and of course the people that engage in it also. It is the human connection that counts more that the factoids that you collect. It is not about the trophies you collect, but more about sustaining continuous learning and inviting feedback on your own performance.
What is your experience with experts and what is your definition of one? What term would you like for family, friends and co-workers to use when they refer to you? What is your preferred method packing your passion into your brand description?