Last week I interviewed the amazing Maggie Dent on calm, commonsense and connected parenting. It was a fabulous chat and if you’re a parent then I recommend you jump on the Maggie Train!
But something interesting happened when we were setting up that interview. I referred to her as an ‘expert’ on the sign up page. Her assistant told me that she hates the term Parenting Expert and would prefer to be called Parenting Author.
It shocked me. I was interviewing her because she IS an expert. But it’s not a term she’s comfortable with.
It’s happened before when I mentioned that Cyndi O’Meara was a ‘guru’ on an interview in Small Steps to Wholefoods. She promptly said “do you know what GURU stands for? Gee You Are You” (G.U.R.U – get it?). She firmly planted the expert status back onto the individual. She’s just a messenger of information.
I can see Maggie is the same.
The true leaders know that there is always more to learn. The true ‘expert’s’ generously share their information with the purpose of EMPOWERING you to be your own expert. And they know there are many ways to do things.
It happened recently on the Nat Kringoudis women’s health series. Nat drilled into those of us tuned in that WE know our body’s best. Something doesn’t feel right? A certain style of eating or exercising not making you feel good? Niggling health concerns that won’t go away?
In these moments of course we look to ‘experts’ but I encourage you to remember that these experts don’t know EVERYTHING. They know a lot about a certain thing and if that helps you, then great, but if it doesn’t then find someone who’s expertise does help.
YOU ARE THE EXPERT and you need to feel in control of your own body and life.
Where along the way have we outsourced trusting ourselves?
I want to tell you a story…..
When I was 23 I was offered a scholarship by uni to complete my PhD. It was on the topic of humanitarian intervention. My Honours thesis had highlighted that the rules for entering into another country for ‘humanitarian reasons’ were pretty shaky – and so I was given the task of delving deeper and helping to bridge a gap between two schools of thought that didn’t really offer anything pragmatic.
I WAS 23!! I had not LIVED in the real world. I was reading from books and newspapers. I was actually quite shocked that they thought I’d be able to offer anything of value because writing on such a massive topic required a depth of understanding that my 23 year old, still living at home, self just could not have.
If I’d completed this PhD I would have been announced an ‘expert’. But seriously – what would I know about the intricacies at play at the highest level in the international community?
Sorry, all a bit technical but I wanted to highlight that when we seek information and look to experts – they are just people too. They don’t know everything about everything and they certainly don’t know everything about YOU.
There’s an interesting discussion happening in our Small Steps Together membership area about the ripple effect of making positive changes in your life. These women felt like Small Steps to Wholefoods was a catalyst to keep up-leveling loads of different parts of their life.
It’s all I wanted to do with that course – say ‘hey – let’s remember what real food is and check out these awesome people who are doing things their way – experiment and see how it might work for you’.
Books, blogs and online courses help us learn, they help us feel part of a community. Because in our modern society most of us do not live in villages. Most of us don’t have great aunties passing down the wisdoms (and if you do – LUCKY YOU!). We are trying to make sense of things and it’s easy to believe that someone else has the perfect answer.
Often it’s not the loudest person that is the true expert. Think about scientists – not particularly good marketers! Often the true experts know they are on a lifelong learning journey too, and simply share what they’ve learnt graciously in an effort to empower you.
I’m fascinated by the rise of the ‘expert’ and wanted to share what I’ve been learning from those at the top of their game.
What do you expect from an ‘expert’?
Who would you consider an expert?
When have you handed over power to an expert only to realise that you had the power all along?
Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to know!
If you’d like access to the Maggie Dent interview then follow this link.
If you’d like access to the four-part Nat Kringoudis series on women’s health follow this link.