Why experts need feedback
Summary: Experts need feedback like every other professional group. Perhaps more so! Here's why.
Written by Alistair Gordon 08 Jun 2020

Image credit: Expertunity

Can a non-expert give relevant and helpful feedback to experts?

There is a familiar argument as to why non-experts ought to stay well clear, heard often by many leaders of experts:

“You don’t have the technical knowledge to do what I do as an expert, so how could you possibly assess my performance?”

Firstly this isn’t true: because everyone associated with the expert can see the results of her/his expertise - did they fix the problem for good, or is it still broken, or does it still break regularly?

Secondly, the expert making such an argument is seeing their performance and worth only defined through the prism of their technical expertise. And as this website, and this model explains, being a Master Expert is about bringing a wonderful combination of technical and enterprise skills together. And non-experts are very well qualified to provide feedback on an experts enterprise skills.

Guess what? It turns out experts love feedback

Before we list the many reasons why organizations should periodically and comprehensively provide feedback mechanisms for their experts, let’s burst one myth: that experts aren’t very good at receiving feedback.

Expertunity, through all of our programs have run the Expertship 360 on hundreds upon hundreds of experts from all expert domains. And almost universally - certainly 95 per cent - experts love getting the feedback.

Remember, when we run an Expertship 360 on experts it is usually the first time they have had properly structured feedback on their overall performance (technical skills and enterprise skills). Amongst the usual trepidation, there is a keen interest among experts to get to the data.

We focus heavily on psychological safety when we run these assessments.

Six reasons why providing feedback to experts is a very, very smart move

1. They love data

They are experts, and experts are very often data-driven. Anecdotal feedback from random strangers or leaders doesn’t cut it - that isn’t scientific enough for them. But real data, from multiple sources, that they have selected - well, that’s data that has to be taken into account.

2. They act on the data

The biggest reason for providing experts with data is they - in the experience of the team at Expertunity - they act on it. Often with military precision. Once experts see a clear path to improve the value they deliver, they race along it. Nearly every expert we’ve ever met wants to be the best experts they can be. They just needed a roadmap. Structured feedback provides it.

3. It opens their eyes to how valued they are

Most experts start out nervous that they’ll get negative feedback. Typically, the vast majority of feedback is positive. In fact, many respondents to the surveys talk about wonderfully expert the experts are. This is a source of surprise and pride for many experts - that ‘people out there’ understand the value they bring. And just in case you are wondering, the majority of experts we have worked with don’t take this as a slap on the back, and reason to do nothing. Experts are motivated by positive feedback to keep it coming. It re-energizes them.

4. It opens their eyes to how more valuable they could be

In most surveys, respondents do also point out areas where experts could be more effective. They can explore why perhaps they are experienced in ways which surprise and disappoint them. From this they can build an action plan to become an even more valuable colleague and expert. And with a properly managed and supported process they come up with a Personal Growth Plan and execute it.

5. It changes their attitude towards work

If your expert was stuck in a rut, this type of feedback releases them. They have energy and a plan to improve their performance. To work towards Master Expert status. Technical Group Heads we work with often comment on how their participants attitude changes “almost overnight”. Properly structured feedback helps experts get their mojo back.

6. It changes their attitude towards colleagues

Five reasons you should use the Expertship 360 tool

1. It is based on The Expertship Model

It passed what we call the ‘sniff test’. The questions asked, the capabilities described, are all instantly recognisable to experts as relevant to the work they do. So they embrace it, and respect it as a tool. This is a critical success factor.

2. It is proven

Many hundreds of experts have successfully completed the Expertship 360, and their feedback is universally positive. For some, the feedback phase was the highlight of attending our program.

3. It is a benchmark

Because so many experts have completed the program, and so many respondents have provided feedback, the Expertship 360 now acts as a benchmark for experts, who can see average scores from all participants top questions as well as their own.

4. It is affordable

It costs less than $800 to have a full survey completed, plus an hour one-to-one feedback with an accredited expertship coach. This $800 can rejuvenate a $150,000 plus expert.

5. It is supported

Expertunity has a raft of assets and personnel to support the expert in undertaking and gaining benefit from this tool. The Expertship Growth Guide is an ideal manual for building a meaningful and actionable Personal Growth Plan, and we have a cohort of expert coaches who can assist experts shaping and executing their plans, and understanding and actioning their feedback.

Contact us today to get the development of your experts underway.

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