I pondered if the time had come to start calling myself an expert. If you have every wondered when you become an expert, read on to find out.
These individuals have acquired a body of knowledge that makes them one of the most informed individuals in their field.
I am currently learning to play golf. Anders Ericsson’s book Peak: The New Science of Expertise was recommended to me.
Ericsson’s research regarding the ten-thousand-hour rule to becoming an expert is widely quoted when discussing how to become an expert.
But Ericsson himself points out 3 flaws to the interpretation of his own research:
- Skilled isn’t the same as expert – very good is not the same as mastering something.
- Some skills take longer or less time to acquire.
- In the original study, 10,000 hours was only an average.
Instead, Ericsson recommends deliberate practice (receiving training and instruction from a qualified teacher).
Ericsson argues that gaining true expertise involves practicing in a way that pushes the boundaries of current skill levels and knowledge.
Becoming an expert takes a great deal of effort. And people who become experts in any field devote a tremendous amount of time, energy, and hard work toward learning and practicing their skills.
However, research found that practice played a greater role in music, athletics, and games, and less of a role for increasing professional or educational performance.
Becoming an expert requires constant work within the zone of proximal development. It requires an individual to develop skills above their current ability level.
Individuals can develop and strengthen their abilities with further challenge and practice by reaching for new skills, mastering them, and progressively expanding their zone of proximal development.
For example, I support clients through the public procurement process. Eventually, my clients learn everything they need to know about how to write a winning tender for their organisation and they no longer require my services (as a trusted advisor and mentor) to help them to achieve this.
Instead, my clients will only contact me when something unusual crops up and they need professional support.
Am I an expert?
About the author
Naomi Clews Consultancy
Procurement, Tendering, Business Skills
Supply Chain Management