February 13, 2023

The difference between experience and expertise

smiley cartoon of an expert with glasses

We often seek those who have experience, but is that enough?

An experienced operator is someone who has had substantial exposure to a range of similar situations. They can discern the inherent patterns and structures. Experienced people draw on their store of experience to interpret their current situation and find solutions.

However, if the situation is new or differs in significant detail, the experienced person may not notice the differences. They can be blinkered as they expect any situation to line up with their prior experience. They may misdiagnose the situation or have a biased view and analysis of the situation.

On the other hand, an expert is someone who has added capacity for reflective evaluation.

In other words, the expert has both experience and the ability to judge the level of objectivity of their knowledge.

The expert draws on more than just their own experience. The expert is continually updating their knowledge about the topic from external sources and thinking about the connections between their experience and these sources of new information.

In effect, the expert is a student of the situation who is questioning and challenging their own interpretation of the situation at hand.

I bet you can think of someone who is experienced, but not an expert, and also someone who is an expert.

What do you have experience in? Are you also an expert in that field?

When you are developing people, how can you instil a mindset that leads to expertise?

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

related posts

They are such an idiot!

We are often incensed by how stupid, ignorant or (insert your own adjective here) other people can be. But are they really?
Read More

What did you learn this week?

Monday motivation: What did you learn this week? What we learn changes who we are.
Read More

Getting The L&D Basics Right For More Impact

From the fundamentals of problem discovery to driving successful behaviour change, working well with stakeholders and much more...
Read More

Navigating impact: driving impactful change through learning transfer

Paul Matthews shares his considerable experience about ensuring that people really do get the most out of their learning experiences in this Training Journal article
Read More

search blog

Get your free weekly tip

You agree that we can keep a record of your details, and send you other occasional offers. See our Privacy Policy