Do you consider yourself an Expert? The best way to demonstrate your expertise is to make your message accessible. No matter where you sit around the business table, the person who slings business or technical/scientific lingo and grabs center stage is a turn-off for everyone else in the room.
Are you coming off as an accessible collaborator and domain area expert or a know-it-all big shot?
Big shots dominate the conversation: they think everyone wants to listen to what they have to say. They take advantage of an opportunity to speak and do their best to show off how much they think they know. Dominating the conversation only may showcase their lack of experience with business or scientific etiquette and processes. What do you think?
Big shots go on the defensive when asked a question. They create barriers as a strategy for avoiding questions. They offer all-inclusive responses that shut everyone else out of becoming part of the conversation. Have you ever done this?
Big shots stifle innovation. Dominating the conversation prevents dialogue and collaboration. Many of us have been trained that we must have the “right” answers to everything. If we don’t know the answer, we feel vulnerable and ignorant. How can you learn from others when you don’t leave any room for collaboration, innovation and self-improvement?
An Expert makes their message accessible to everyone. They encourage questions. No matter how many college degrees, sales awards or personal accomplishments they have earned, experts are teachers, collaborators and life-long learners. They understand the value of provocative dialogue.
An Expert is able to craft provocative discussions which showcase the diverse opinions of others. They showcase their own expertise, and wisdom, through collaboration. Experts ask good questions. Their focus is listening to everyone else instead of waiting for their turn to speak. The net result is that everyone participates in a solid round-table discussion.
An Expert makes the conversation all about you, instead of all about them. Experts understand that provocative, substantial conversation is a good thing. Collaborative discussion is the fulcrum leveraging innovation. Innovation is achieved by everyone leaving their egos parked outside the door and bringing their willingness to learn from one another into the room.
At the end of each day, take inventory of all the conversations you’ve had with colleagues and customers. Did you dominate the conversation or encourage conversation? Were you an expert listener or did you wait for your turn to show off? Was each conversation all about the other person or merely all about you? You already know what I would want you to do this week. 😉
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development, one millimeter at a time. She works with manufacturing and engineering firms and small business entrepreneurships. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.