Sometimes you can go so deep in something, you don’t see your mistakes anymore. It’s like you can only see what’s in front of you.
Experts are blind. Yes, I know this may sound a bit strange but it is true. I think we all have had the feeling that everyone else does not understand our point. We are so convinced of our truth that it’s very frustrating to see the others doubt and disagree.
This is what happens with experts. They know their domain so well that they forget to think outside it. They always dig deeper and deeper and forget to ask for help. Details can make the difference they say. Ofcourse they can. But a broader view WILL make a difference. I can understand experts. It is human nature to explore what we already know. The unknown is frightening and might learn us things that change all our ideas. Maybe we have to change our way of working. Or worse, we have to correct the things we already delivered.
Experts have experience. They have worked for years in the same domain and know how it all works. Yeah right. I don’t believe in experience as is. It’s not because you work five years in the same sector that you know everything. If you work for five years in the same sector and you do the things you love to do, then you will know a lot. But even then you need to keep innovating your knowledge. Listen to other people, look for new perspectives on what you are doing. It might be difficult to accept that someone new is right. But often they are. Why? Because they look at it as someone new. They question everything and Google for information. And you will see, they will find other sources of information than those you have explored for many years.
I don’t want you to think that I don’t like experts. I just want to show you that there are different ways to fill the role of an expert. You can see it as someone who needs to be in the lead. Someone who has to control everything and everyone. Other people have to ask whether they can make a change and will mostly avoid to go into discussion with this kind of expert. I hope you understand that this can be very negative for the team as well as for the expert. The expert I prefer is someone who shares what he knows but is open for other ideas and perspectives. He or she is challenged by other opinions, even if they may seem wrong in the beginning. Instead of checking the work of the new guy, he will ask the new guy to take a look at his own work. The value here is to share knowledge and learn from each other.
What kind of expert are you?