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  • marlienligtenberg

How to advice like an expert when I'm not an expert already?

Your job requires a certain level of expertise. You are quite new in the role, so you don’t have the knowledge like your senior colleagues do. That gives you a feeling of pressure. ‘’Should I know more already? What if I don’t know the answer? I’ll look stupid. How can I give decent advice when I don’t know the whole picture?’’

You feel tense in meetings. If someone asks your opinion, your brain is desperately searching for a brilliant answer. You say something but you don’t feel satisfied. You want to feel like an expert and relaxed! How to get there?

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞?

𝐍𝐎𝐓: get more expertise. You secretly want to be that colleague with 15 years of experience. Because you think that will give you confidence and peace of mind. But: you are not there. And that’s fine! You don’t have to expect from yourself to have all that knowledge already. That’s just not realistic. Expecting all that expertise from yourself is where the pressure is coming from.

You are a beginning expert. You add value now already. It’s in the self-confidence where you’ll find your relaxed feeling. The good news is: you can already have that now.

𝐒𝐨; 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟-𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭?

Take a closer look at your thoughts. What do you expect from yourself? For example:

  • ‘’I must know everything about this subject’’

  • ‘’I only add value if the advice is perfect and more than complete.’’

  • ‘’I will look stupid when I give a wrong answer.’’

𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮.

  • ‘’I know what I know and I do my best with the knowledge I have. And that’s great.’’

  • ‘’My contribution is already valuable.’’

  • ‘’I am proud of myself that I contribute in meetings.’’

𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐧: 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.

Next time in the meeting, share your thoughts. A wording like this can help to cut yourself some slack:

  • ‘’I am just gathering my thoughts here, but would it be an idea to…?’’

  • ‘’I am quite new to the project so tell me if I miss something. But so far I am thinking about…’’

  • ‘’Based on what I know now, I would suggest...’’

What is your take-away from this? Let me know in the comments!

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