We meet and engage with many personalities in the workplace. Some people are more challenging than others. Dealing with subject-matter experts can be problematic when you want to get things done.
Dealing With Subject-Matter Experts
Subject-matter experts have knowledge about a specialist or technical subject that we don’t have or don’t understand. Furthermore, they value their expertise and are cognisant of the value they bring to the business.
Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what you want can’t be done and why. Then do it. – Robert Heinkein
But how do we engage with subject-matter experts? How do we know they’re not pulling the wool over our eyes? And how do we encourage them to take on our ideas and make the changes we need? Here is a short list of tips for dealing with experts.
Give the expert recognition and verbally acknowledge their expertise. Giving professional recognition at the start of a meeting helps to minimize defensiveness and increases their openness to your ideas.
Be prepared for your meeting. Do your homework. Understand their area of expertise and the work they do. Prepare one or two pertinent questions in advance and make sure they know the purpose of the meeting in advance.