Discover more from Masters of Babel
Don't trust me, I am an expert
On whether we should trust experts, setting boundaries at work, ping pong tables, and more.
Here are some questions I want to discuss with you today:
How did we become suspicious of experts?
What can we do to let go of unimportant tasks?
Is there a worthy substitute for office treats?
Keep reading for some answers.
Scrolling down on my LinkedIn feed the other day, I noticed that I am probably going to live a great life.
So many of my contacts are experts in something, that if I have a problem - any kind of problem - there will be an expert there that I can consult. Marketing experts, branding experts, business experts. Parenting experts, sleep experts. A couple of them are experts in being an ex-pat. I wonder what that means about their legal status.
I do understand why people want to brand themselves as experts. It establishes authority. It comes with prestige. It conveys “I can solve your problems”, which is a close cousin of “I deserve your money”.
To be honest, we also need experts. We need them to solve real problems. They are the people who are supposed to recruit their capacities and experience to provide us with useful technologies, life-saving vaccines, and so forth.
Two phenomena changed our relationship with expertise in the past few decades:
1. Academic inflation: it's easier than ever to get a degree, even multiple degrees, plus a few certificates - yet, without receiving proper professional training. For centuries, the definition of an expert was being an academic in a field. Now, we are in a place where everyone can easily become an academic, without necessarily being provided with the tools needed to solve real problems.
2. The rise of new professions (for example, Innovation Officers) or hybrid professions (for example, UX/UI specialist) which don’t rely on a clear, unified theory. Many people might be practising these professions, some of them might be defining how those professions works without having anyone to learn from - just because there is no body of knowledge they can learn how to do what they do from.
In other words, we have experts without skills and professionals without a clear profession. […]
If you liked this piece, you might enjoy also these articles on career, productivity and professional development.
More interesting ideas I came across lately:
🍭 There’s only so much fancy gifts and happy hours can do for your team.
Organizational Culture. This will help you improve turnover in your team.
Oh, the good times when some free food, fancy merch and ping pong tables were enough to make our teams happy.
Now that office life is not available to everyone, we need to actually address our team’s needs to make them feel good about their jobs. How can that look like?
🙅🏽 Try this to work better: ignore e-mails, colleagues and some of your tasks.
Productivity. This will give you the ideas you need to focus on the important tasks.
You know what’s your problem? You care too much.
Or at least that’s what Jory MacKay thinks about our approach to work: we are so invested in our jobs that we put in it lots of time and effort - to the extent that it becomes detrimental. If we could develop a habit of giving up on unimportant tasks and considering our job as something that just needs to get done, we might be more efficient and less stressed.
🧟♂️ Stressed? Tired? Burned-out? Perfect. It’s just the right time to thrive.
Stress Management. This will provide you with better ways to deal with stress.
I am not going to write more about how the pandemic is awful and how it’s taking a toll on our mental health, etc. You know what, maybe I will. Last time.
I do want to provide you with some actionable ways to move away from toxic thoughts, mumbling to yourself how sick and tired you are, and that feeling of restlessness. Here’s an article with some research-backed tactics that can help you make progress.
You should also take a look at:
I can’t recommend enough how refreshing it is to follow Mark Manson. You can follow him on most social networks or even download his app. His take on everyday life, and specifically on our professional experience is deep, clear, bold and usually quite funny.
How can I help?
1:1 Career Consulting.
I can help you find the best way to have a great career.
Let’s schedule a friendly chat and I'll tell you more.
Organizational Development: Consulting and Lecturing.
I will help you cultivate your performance and your team’s performance.
Learn more here.
There are too many hippos in Colombia, and Pablo Escobar is to blame.
Yes, the Narcos guy - but the real one.
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