Expertise is Intuition

It’s easy to assume that expertise is experience. That ten years of experience makes an expert. Quite often it’s just ten years of experience holding a title.

But after 10 years, it’s possible that a manager could be flustered when confronted with conflict resolution. Or a photographer could be incapable of framing a photo.

When you’re an expert you will feel it, you’ll have a visceral reaction that guides your course of action. And for the most part it’ll be spot on.

If you want to become an expert you need to hone your intuition. Fortunately that’s a mostly automatic process given:

  • exposure to a spectrum of situations for a given profession – this obviously takes time and is why we conflate time with expertise
  • an accurate understanding of when you were right and wrong, what does and doesn’t work
  • accurate awareness of how your body feels

The bodily awareness is important because intuition is a hunch, a gut reaction. If you don’t understand what your body is telling you, then your intuition isn’t going to be accurate.