The dangers of expertise

Andrew Rixon examines the paradox of bringing in the expert through a Nasrudeen story. It’s a tricky thing employing experts: the temptation is to go into a childlike pose and attempt to hand over all responsibility to the guru – with the benefit of a handy scapegoat when things go wrong.

The temptations for the expert are equally strong setting us up for a teacher trance.

When I’m coaching I pay a lot of attention to the allure of these trances. If I’m getting a client to play out a tricky conversation, and I find myself tempted to offer advice I will often instead suggest we reverse roles so that I become the one “on stage” as it were. I try stuff that’s not perfect and hopefully stay off the pedestal as a result.

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