S:1166 Distinction: Expertise vs. Experience

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


This is an easy Distinction to understand, but can be a difficult one to live. Each time we experience something we add to that base of experience. Do that enough and we are said to “have experience.” The caution this distinction communicates is to not confuse accumulated experience with competence, expertise.

Expertise only occurs when we begin to show up differently due to what we have learned from our experiences. You might think that is an automatic byproduct of multiple experiences, but it is not. Gaining expertise is the intentional process of wanting to learn and grow.

What blocks experience from becoming expertise? Many factors. Momentum. Being unaware. Confirmation bias. A need to defend a position. Not trusting oneself. And on and on.

The biggest flaw is assuming you have expertise because of a few successful experiences. A classic example is a young driver having an accident because, although with some experience, they were driving beyond their level of expertise.


Coaching Point: Is continually gaining expertise important to you?


Copyright 2018 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.