Question My Idea? I’m Okay with That

Being an “expert” in any field is an interesting thing. You have the people who look up to your expertise, and others who say they “know just enough to be dangerous”….aka they know just enough to be annoying.

When I worked in project management, I was never an expert — if someone questioned why something was done a certain way (which typically required an expert to answer), I’d politely tell them that I’d find out and get back to them.

So, as I’ve begun working to become that Digital Marketing expert, my ideas are the ones being questioned. At first, I took it personally — my mind automatically went to “what do you mean, you don’t think my idea is great!? I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into learning everything there is to know about digital marketing. Just take my word for it. I know what’s best”

And that was extremely childish of me.

I started to learn that having my ideas questioned are opportunities to sell them, and showcase my expertise. 99% of the time, the questions come from a place of ignorance..and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Me: We should really ramp up our hiring solutions on LinkedIn

Them: Why? I’m never on LinkedIn, why would anyone else be?

Me: Studies show that LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site, and two new members sign up per second. And LinkedIn users tend to be much more affluent and educated than members of other social media sites.

Them: Wow, I had no idea, let’s move forward.

This is a very simplified example, but provides insight into what I’ve discussed before…the curse of knowledge. A year and a half ago, my initial thought would have been, “It’s LinkedIn, of course you want to use it for hiring”, but the curse of knowledge explains that as experts we’re so ingrained in our field of expertise, that we forget that most of the world hasn’t spent hours and hours doing the research that we can pull out of our back pocket in seconds. Think of the guys from the “The Big Bang Theory.” That’s the curse of knowledge at work! The concept seems obvious when you think about it, but experts tend to forget.

My advice? If you have a specialty, in whatever field it may be, don’t assume, always be prepared to pitch, and demonstrate empathy..which is easily the best trait anybody can have. Not everyone is an expert like you are. 🙂

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2 responses to “Question My Idea? I’m Okay with That

  1. I have to say I am very proud of your growing professional mindset and demeanor Mrs. Deas. I am also glad to see you writing again, I too have had the same dilemma when it comes to Coaching. Every parent (particularly dads) seem to think they know more about the very sport you have lived and coached in because they watch it on TV. Having your methodolgy and professional wisdom and knowledge (cause they are indeed separate entities) questioned can become tiresome but it should also serve as a purpose of realization that if you are being questioned 1) Is it by someone whose question is worth merit 2) as you so eloquently stated, should serve as an opportunity to sell your wisdom and knowledge and 3) Should allow itself to not only inform the questioner of your capability but also as a way to deter any future doubt they may have (obv done so in a professional manner). : )

    • Im glad you like the post and I could see how it could be even more frustrating as a coach! Just like people watch football games and think they know how to coach, everyone with a social media account thinks they know social media marketing. It’s just a reality of life that I’ve finally learned to accept and roll with.

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