How and Why to Be an Expert


Pause. Take a moment and write down the areas/subjects, in which you are very knowledgeable.  Hold on to this list and we will revisit this later in our blog.

Everyone wants to be a SME.

You may be thinking, what is a SME?

SME is an acronym for Subject Matter Expert.

Why a SME?

The more you are considered a SME, the more you will recognize various opportunities to advance the lives of others and yourself.  As a clinician, I have spent countless hours learning in classrooms, on-line, from evidence-based research; from colleagues, students, and on-the-job experience.  From all my learning, I have learned that life is all about being a SME.

Why is life all about being a SME?

Being a SME means you are a forever learner.  You would think being a SME would allow you to relax because you have made it to the top.  On the contrary, SME’s are experts because they continue to saturate their minds with knowledge.  SME’s tend to have a 3-way thought process.

1. I Don’t Know


The first step to being an expert has to do with knowing your individual limitations.  This is a starting and continued process of being an expert.

Even now after being out of school for almost a decade, I still have to take continuing education courses to be one the best clinicians in my field.  When I study experts, all experts are involved in some form of continued education.  It can be formal or informal continued education, but experts are good at seeking out further knowledge to advance their skills.

The key to enhancing your knowledge and expert status has to do with understanding what you don’t know.

2. I Must Grow


Your awareness of what you don’t know should drive you to GROW.

If you knew there was something that you did not know, how far would you go to learn it to become an expert?

The difference between a SME and anyone else is the SME’s ability to assess his or her own needs and move in the right direction to develop their needs.

3. Spread the Growth


 SME’s are not only about increasing their own knowledge, but they promote and encourage knowledge-share.  It’s like spreading the wealth with your knowledge!  So, pay it foward with your SME knowledge and spread the growth!  Each one, Teach one!

Question:  At the beginning of today's blog, we asked you, In what areas of your life are you considered a SME?   (Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below).
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