“a true expert understands that what they don’t know and can’t do far exceeds what they do know and can do”
More often than not, a person is an expert in something, but not in all things. Consider what you do. If you have learned a trade, been apprenticed, studied at university, then you could be considered highly knowledgable. If you have gone on to make that trade or study a life-long undertaking then many would consider you an expert. However, being an expert in one thing is great but John Dickson stated that there is a tendency to then believe that you can be an expert in all things. If we hold that belief then we will make mistakes, and even look foolish.
So, I have thought about the times when I have held conversations with people, pretending to have some ability, but finding myself ‘drowning’ as they talk in technical language expecting me to know what they are talking about! Have you been there? Do I continue to show interest, nod as they talk, and follow through on the sham, or do I admit that I don’t have a clue?
No-one is an expert in all things. It is common sense. There will be many reasons why we try to be:
- We want to fit in
- We want to gain approval or affirmation
- We are under stress
The reality is that most people see through our charade. So, if we recognise that we could end up making a fool of ourselves, wouldn’t it be better and wiser to be humble and not profess to be somebody that we are not?
Well, the answer is common sense really. The proof as to whether we have learned the lesson, however, is when we are tempted the next time!
So, are you an expert?