What IS an Expert?


expert adj  having or showing special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.

That’s how the dictionary in my home describes an expert.

The key here for me are the words: ‘…or experience.

So, there seems to be a difference between what You think an expert is and what I might think an expert is. I’m sure when it comes to brain surgeons, lawyers, electricians etc. we would opt for fully qualified, certified people that have been trained.

But their are many areas of knowledge where experience is equally important and maybe even more so than the training someone has had. Horse riding, running a successful business, innovating, inventing, selling – are all examples of endeavours where someone may be an expert without ANY formal training.

So here are my questions… are You an expert that has or hasn’t had formal training?

If so, do you teach others your knowledge?

Do you value training over experience or vice versa?

Is training useless without experience?

Interested to hear your thoughts.





Filed under Success, Uncategorized

4 responses to “What IS an Expert?

  1. You need both training and experience. Any surgeon will tell you that…but as far as life, I value experience or training especially when it comes to parenting! No classroom could ever make a great parent.

  2. I have been a child care provider since 1975 and as much as I have become skilled in the entertainment of and caring for kids, I am learning from the kids everyday that some professions just cannot be “mastered”. Society is in constant flux and so must the educators and caregivers of children remain.

    • Exactly Susan. In our globalised society we continually experience different mixes of cultures which have their own idiosyncratic influences on how children mix and learn. Although training in that area I’m sure is a must (knowledge of the psychology of children and best ways to learn etc.) there’s no substitute for being on the front line. Even those doing the studies in lab conditions would find it difficult to apply in reality. Great example of training + experience = expert. Thanks Susan.

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