On this episode, James and Megan continue the theme of Fear with a topic that holds a lot of people back when they are starting out or tackling a new initiative.
Our Kryptonite today: The Fear of Expert Status!
Why do some people fear being an expert?:
- Being named an expert is very powerful. It means you’re among the best of the best in your area of expertise.
- But are others calling you an expert, or is it self-expressed? Either way there is pressure to back it up.
- If we fail as an expert, we risk losing credibility. And if your expertise is the foundation of your business, you may lose the business as well.
What is an expert anyway?:
- According to OxfordDictionaries.com, an expert is “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area”.
- But that’s the American version. Here’s the English version: “A person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area”.
- Notice the difference? As Americans we emphasize “comprehensive and authoritative”.
- Understand that being an expert doesn’t have to mean you know everything about a topic, just more than most people.
- James prefers the English version and says that an expert is simply someone who knows more than you on a particular topic.
- That expertise can be transferred, sometimes in a very short period of time.
How can you own your expertise with confidence?
- Develop your own personal definition of expertise. Become comfortable with it and any area in which you wish to declare your expertise (even if others initiated it).
- Studies show that people who are willing to ask questions and say “I don’t know” are perceived as more intelligent. That little voice inside our heads is a liar, or at least lacks true perspective.
- Continue to develop your expertise. Don’t stop learning in an area because you’re already an expert. Things change and you need to keep up.
- Write down your own definition of expertise.
- Document areas where you can confidently call yourself an expert.
- Review the list with those you know and trust. See what they change, what they add, and what comments they give you.
- Name the expertise of others and share it with them. This is a great gift to give them!