There are many models for doing fine work. Imagine that you want to become an expert in a specific area. Here are some of the steps you can take towards achieving that goal.
Focus on an activity in which
you continually feel Enthusiastic
Peak performers often start by following their passion. As The Gallup Organization says, such people often focus on the activity that: “They cannot help but do.”
So if you want to become an expert, it can be useful to start by focusing on a theme where:
You perpetually return to the activity.
You get positive energy.
You are doing something you feel passionately about.
Let’s assume that you have identified such a theme. It is also important that it fulfils the next step.
Focus on an activity in which you
also show the seeds of Expertise
There will be specific activities in which, after a while, you feel ‘at home’. You feel in your element – at ease and yet able to excel.
You will also have a feeling for the activity. Whilst enjoying what you are doing, you will start to see patterns. Sometimes you will know ‘what is going to happen before it happens’.
Developing your natural skills, you will apply these to achieve specific goals. Whilst these may be relatively ‘small projects’, you will develop a pattern of finishing things successfully.
Bearing this in mind, it can be useful to focus on a specific area where:
You have a feeling for the activity.
You have the ability to see patterns.
You have the skills to finish things successfully.
Let’s assume that you have identified an activity in which you are enthusiastic and also show the seeds of expertise. It is now time to move on to the next stage.
Focus on becoming an Expert
Now begins the long climb. There are various models for how to become an expert. One of the best known was outlined by two brothers, Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus in the 1980s.
After studying superb practitioners in several fields, they described five stages that people go through to progress from being novices to experts. There stages are:
* Advanced Beginner.
Their approach was built on by people such as Patricia Benner, who applied the steps to the development of professionals in medicine. You can discover more about her work in the overview provided via the following link at Sonoma State University.
Here in more detail are the fives stages the Dreyfus brothers outlined in their book Mind Over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer.
Seth Godin writes on his blog that the expert: “writes the manual, doesn't follow it.” They sometimes do things so quickly that they don’t appear to follow the rules.
Another way to look at this is:
They actually do follow the book they have written, but they skip many pages.
They go into a situation and gather information quickly. They go ‘A, B ____ and leap to ____ Z.’
They then do whatever is required to deliver success.
There are many models for doing fine work. One approach is to focus on where you are enthusiastic and show the seeds of expertise. You can then embark on the long climb towards becoming an expert.
* Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus.
Here are some links to their work on the stages from novice to expert.
* Other Thinkers.
Here are a variety of links to other people who have built on or adapted the Dreyfus Model. They look at applying the model in different fields.