We have seen how to keep up with business trends, but in this day and age, that’s not enough to stand out from the crowd. Using your expertise wisely is paramount to nudging your way above the rest of the pack. Yes everyone’s an expert at something, but what makes the great become greater?
Its’ interesting to look at the definition of expertise:-
“Expertise. It’s not how smart you are, but how much you know that matters”
A prime example being Sherlock Holmes (or rather Arthur Conan Doyle) who takes a suspicious looking soil stain and through a series of clues, and a colossal mind full of knowledge, solves the case.
But being an expert isn’t enough to make an impact, it’s what you do with it that matters!
There are several traits of great experts that should be considered but the greatest by far is having empathy. It’s no good being an expert without having the foresight for when and where to use it.
Successful experts know when to listen, and when to share. It’s a learning curve and one that can take time and in some cases a complete 180 degree shift in thinking. Expanding your expertise to become a more effective CEO leader, entrepreneur or employee relies on your ability to do several things- expertly:
One of the greatest experts, Sir Richard Branson champions many quotes on the subject but his own sums it up quite succinctly
“Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess. We have certainly relied on it to drive the success of the Virgin story.”
It’s an obvious fact that no expert is an expert if no-one knows what they know- confused ?
Your ability to communicate is your means of sharing your knowledge, or expertise. Like anything in life, this doesn’t become perfect overnight and to grow as a communicator, you must strive to strengthen those skills.
A good communicator will encompass the following traits:
- They listen more than they speak
- They make it a point of truly understanding what the other people are saying
- They understand body language and notice the nonverbal communication as much as the verbal
- They are acutely aware of the possibility of misunderstanding, and the necessity to untangle it where possible
- They will only focus on what is most helpful, rather than share their whole encyclopedia of knowledge
- Simplify complex situations
The best experts simplify complex situations so that it becomes a problem open to everyone, and everyone’s field of expertise. They have the ability to sift through problems, pinpointing what is most relative to the business, and highlight the areas their unique insight can provide solutions for.
- Consistently learning
Expert status isn’t the final stop on the underground, it’s the neverending tube line. Keep yourself educated within your field of business and acknowledge the developments via your communications. A true expert is a lifelong student!
- Be humble
Being the smartest person in the room, isn’t being an expert. The greatest experts use their knowledge and skills to contribute to, not hijack, a situation. It’s important to curb your over confidence as this will have the opposite effect on producing successful partnerships and rewarding collaborations.
Being humble, but positive, will allow others to feel secure and relaxed enough to contribute their own ideas and expertise.
On a final note it’s good to relate back to people who have truly ‘nailed it’ on the expertise spectrum and looking at the list you will see that they all possess the above traits. Importantly though it’s vital to remember that ALL of them strived for many years to reach the point where they were regarded as ‘an expert.’
Experts must constantly evolve, and keep up to date with their industry developments or they will quickly become yesterday’s ‘chip wrapper’. Harsh but true!
Image by Skitterphoto