How can you tell if a person in your team is an expert? And how should your leadership style change if you have an expert in your team?
The expert performer no longer relies on an analytic principle or maxim to connect his or her understanding of the situation to an appropriate action. Experts have developed an intuitive grasp of each situation and are able to zero in accurately on the heart of the problem without wasteful consideration of alternative diagnoses and solutions.
Experts see what needs to be done and how to achieve the goal. They are able to make more subtle and refined discriminations than proficient performers. They are able to distinguish among many situations that would be seen as similar by the proficient performer.
Implications for Leaders: Don’t ask your expert performers to tell you or others the rules by which they work. They will tell you rules they hardly remember, because they do not follow rules any more. Instead, ask them to describe specific situations in which they had to exercise judgement. Ask them to describe what they did and why they chose that option and not a different one. Your proficient, competent and beginning performers will all benefit.
More in the next and final post of this series…
This series of posts draws heavily on Benner’s book
and Drefus and Dreyfus’s article
The implications for leadership are my own. What are your thoughts?
Benner P. 1984. From Novice to Expert, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.