Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Are You an Expert?

The topic comes up again and again, usually from someone looking to hire. “I need an expert”.

Define Expert

Most times people fall back on specific skills; in Excel do you know how to DO pivot tables? In Word do you know how to Compare And Merge documents.

Almost all training course are geared to demonstrating specific features of a desktop application (My courses are classed as Task-Oriented-Training)

To my mind, an expert is defined not by what they know, but by the impact they have on people.

Here’s my 4-scale category of someone who aspires to being an Expert in, say, Excel:

Level 1: Has never posted a question on an Excel forum

Level 2: Has posted a question on an Excel forum

Level 3: Has posted an answer on an Excel forum

Level 4: Only posts answers on an Excel forum

Now we can discuss whether a wannabe, who really doesn’t know the answers, but posts them anyway, and is afraid to ask questions in case it blows their own myth, slips under the radar and gets branded an expert without really being one, but these folks are soon detected and drummed out of the regiment.

If I needed an Excel expert, I’d ask them to provide me with a list of what they consider to be their top 5 posts of solutions to problems in any Excel forum.

And I’d check the dates to see they weren’t all posted AFTER I’d asked my question!

The Conclusion

  • Experts are people who impact people.
  • Experts change the way people think.
  • Experts change their world

Talk to Me !

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