Being an expert, you can be so rigid or certain about things that you miss some obvious things or don’t remain open to learning. What does it mean to be an expert AND a student? Sometimes, if you are too open about being a student, people start to question your expertise.
It seems to me there is a delicate balance.
No matter how experienced or adept you are at something, keeping a beginner’s mind is a good thing. In addition, ongoing learning can only help you stay sharp with your craft.
This point was really brought home to me last summer. I have been doing executive coaching for over twenty years. I received really good training while working at IBM and GE, and I periodically take courses related to this discipline. However, I never officially went through a certification process. I finally decided to, and went through an intensive program geared toward experienced coaches.
I thought I was checking a box in the professional certification realm. I was quickly humbled and realized several things: some areas I needed to be refreshed on, some concepts were new to me, and some learning solidified my strengths.
Overall, I was surprised to discover that it was much more than checking a box – it was one of the most relevant and valuable professional learning experiences I’ve had in a long time. It really brought home for me to, yes, acknowledge my expertise, but never take anything for granted –to always remain humble and open to learning at my edge while pursuing greater mastery.
What about you? Where is the opening to be at your edge of learning – especially if you consider yourself an expert?
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Susan is an executive coach and leadership & organization effectiveness consultant. She also teaches yoga and meditation – tools to keep one sane in insane times. She helps professionals step up to their fullest leadership and growth potential. At times this means overcoming their greatest fears or trauma and getting out of their own way to get important stuff accomplished. Please contact her for a complimentary strategy session. www.sagelead.com.