I was catching up on podcasts lately, and Get-It-Done Guy had a great one on How To Choose Experts. I decided to bring it up here, because it has relevancy for all that we are trying to do.
It doesn’t really matter if you are trying to be more productive, or simplify your life, or even clean your house. We turn to “experts” because we want to learn better ways. But there’s a problem with experts: experts are starting from a different frame of reference, and their destinations are different.
Experts are not always right. They are only giving their opinion based on their knowledge and experience. “Maybe they did everything wrong and succeeded in spite of themselves.” Some people succeed through dumb luck. We need to remember that.
Stever goes on to talk about picking an expert, and the most important thing that gets overlooked: “When you decide to learn from an expert, students are their product. Meet people they have taught, who started from the same place as you.”
I had a music teacher in college. He was the main reason I decided not to pursue my performance degree. You see, he was a brilliant flutist. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a brilliant teacher. He couldn’t tell me how to get the sound he wanted from me. Too often my lessons degenerated into trying random things to see if I could satisfy his demands for different sound. He hadn’t trained many performance majors; he focused on music education majors. Completely different training.
Good experts also have to know why their techniques work. If they can’t tell you, then chances are it is dumb luck they have succeeded. And insisting that the same techniques will work for everyone is not a good way to overcome this. Knowing why their techniques work are important to be able to extrapolate their methods to fit other’s circumstances. Like yours.
Check out the transcript of the podcast. Stever has a great humor, and some not-so-commonplace tips for getting more done.
Photo by alancleaver_2000