We’re here to talk about what it takes to gain expert power and why it is important, as well as walk you through some steps on how to develop it.
It’s widely believed that one needs to put in 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice in order to become an expert in something.
But is it just practice?
Let’s find out!
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What is expert power?
Expert power can be defined as having deep, high-level knowledge of a particular subject or field.
Undoubtedly, expert power is something that can’t be acquired overnight. In order to be considered an expert in something, you need to put in years of relentless, dedicated work to thoroughly understand a subject and its nuances.
Why is expert power important?
Having expert power is important for a number of reasons. For starters, it motivates others around you to also gain more knowledge of a subject and empowers them to always seek ways to improve their skills. Having someone reliable with expert power in the workplace also builds trust among team members and facilitates learning opportunities. With an expert in the room, employees can feel safe and able to rely on the process with confidence.
Secondly, having expert power improves efficiency when it comes to making decisions or completing projects. Odds are, you will run into similar problems in the process of building your expertise, so naturally, you will become more efficient with each time. The longer you are in a field, the fewer things will catch you off guard. Here at DeskTime, we focus on efficiency and saving time on manual work to help experts achieve more in less time.
Thirdly, valuable knowledge or in-demand skills will work in your favor if you want to advance your career and make yourself more competitive against other potential candidates. One of the most important things in career advancement is being able to manage and lead others, so building expert power will directly improve your leadership skills.
How to develop expert power?
We’ve determined that having expert power is beneficial to both the upcoming expert and those around them. Now, let’s look at some examples of how to develop and increase your expert power in the workplace.
1. Find your niche
You can be an expert in anything, but not everything. The first step to starting to build your expert power is to find a particular niche and stick with it. Studies have shown that multitasking is a myth, and our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. The same broader mindset can be applied to the power of expertise.
Determine what your strengths are, what areas of your work you would be the most passionate about, and what skills you would be the most interested in advancing to help yourself narrow down your specific area of expertise.
2. Practice makes perfect
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that some say 10 years of practice will make you an expert. No matter the timeline, practice is one of the key components of expert power.
Imagine being a world-class pianist. You wouldn’t become one without regularly practicing and persistently improving your skills. The same goes for any other area of expertise, whether you want to become better at editing, public speaking, or managing a team of employees, consistent practice is key to becoming a well-respected specialist.
3. Learn from other experts
Whether you’re just starting off or consider yourself an expert already, there’s always going to be someone more knowledgeable in the field. While you can be an expert and a source of wisdom for someone else, utilize learning from other professionals that are further in the process than you are to gain more perspective. Even therapists still go to therapy themselves, so having a mentor in your career will help you improve and measure your personal progress.
4. Share your knowledge
Once you gain enough confidence in your expert power, don’t be hesitant to share your expertise when it is advantageous and appropriate. Offering your input will allow others to see that you have sufficient experience that can be beneficial to a problem or project at hand, as well as seek your advice the next time they need help. You can also offer to mentor other employees or lead projects to show off your skills and make a meaningful impact.
Research shows that sharing your knowledge also leads to higher productivity, better performance, and more creativity and innovation, so it overall contributes to an improved work environment.
5. Keep on learning
They say the best experts never stop learning, and they’re right. In order to stay relevant and accurate with your expertise, taking extra courses, obtaining certifications, and initiating self-motivated learning will keep you afloat for a lot longer.
People are curious beings, and there are thousands of studies being conducted in a variety of fields at all times in order to expand our knowledge, so there will always be relevant resources for you to take advantage of. Even reading blog posts, books, and journals or listening to podcasts and interviews of other recognized experts in your field will keep you curious and informed about where your industry is going.
Apart from self-directed learning, continued education is required for employees in a variety of fields in order to retain their licenses and keep up to date with the latest research, technology, and skills.
Things to keep in mind
Having expert power means being flexible and insightful, and there are just a few things we want you to remember before we part.
When gaining more knowledge and influence, some people tend to struggle with remaining courteous and not letting success get to their heads. As an expert, it’s important to keep being respectful of the experiences of others and open to a diversity of opinions, no matter the years of knowledge someone else has.
It is valuable to recognize the contributions of others and sometimes view success as collective rather than individual work. Expert power can become significantly less powerful and more narrow-minded if you get too used to making decisions only based on your judgment without consulting others.
After all, your expert power has come from other experts, right?
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