Descriptors of Expertise

My mentor sent me an article from T+D called “Our Inexpert Judgment of Expertise” by Catherine Lombardozzi. There are 18 determinants of expertise, according to Lombardozzi: six are objective and twelve are subjective.

Objective:

  1. Has qualifications required
  2. Has education necessary
  3. Has been trained in his area of expertise
  4. Has knowledge about her field
  5. Has knowledge specific to his field
  6. Conducts research related to her field

Subjective:

  1. Is self-assured
  2. Is charismatic
  3. Has self-confidence
  4. Can deduce things easily from work-related situations
  5. Can assess whether a work-related situation is important
  6. Is intuitive in her job
  7. Is an expert who is outgoing
  8. Is capable of improving herself
  9. Is able to judge what things are important
  10. Has the drive to become what she is capable of becoming in her field
  11. Is ambitious about her work
  12. Can talk her way through any work-related situation

According to Lombardozzi it is not only important to have the expertise, but to project those subjective factors that underscore the perception of expertise. She notes that self-assured people may give the impression that they have more expertise than they do. This is important to consider “when making selection decisions or assessing performance.” I see this often in my field, that perceptions drive selection and assessment at times over the actual objective descriptors. It goes both ways. Some favor the outgoing individuals, whose confidence affects the perception, and some favor the quiet, introverted, even antisocial individuals, who seem even more like innovative geniuses because of the quiet lives they live.

The point is to be wise in our judgments of expertise. I think I have focused my vision for myself as a thought leader a little too much on the subjective side; I want to make sure I have all the objective descriptors.

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