Monday, August 5, 2019

Three Principles to Practice Expertise Power

 Well-defined principles and in-depth understanding can guide you in safe use of knowledge power. 

Power has many different formats; some visible, some invisible; some are earned, some are given; some are delightful, some are intimidating. There are three powers either as visible or invisible hands in an organization: Structural power (the position with the organizational hierarchy), expert power (business and technical knowledge), and connection power. 

Due to the exponential growth of information and the shorten knowledge cycle, expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the digital era because the brainpower can stimulate all kinds of creativity; and the knowledge power is the key for any sort of human progress. Here are three digital principles to practice expert power effectively.

Keep it relevant: Knowledge by itself is nothing if you do not understand how to apply it and make it useful. Everything exists in a constant state of change and knowledge of an evolving thing must keep evolving. No one is an expert in everything, but you can always gain expertise for a few things. Practice knowledge power relevant for either solving tough business problems or coaching the next generation of business managers or professionals. If knowledge is power, then wisdom is understanding and the exceptionally effective use of the power. Wisdom understands that the only power that knowledge possesses is if you can explain it to another in a way that they will understand by making it related to them. People who have great expert power are often lifetime learners themselves, who continue learning and relearning relevant knowledge to renew their expert power and practice it intelligently.

Focus on problem-solving: Knowledge by itself is nothing if you do not understand how to apply it and make it useful for problem-solving. Power is not a value statement, it is a state of being. Practicing knowledge expertise needs to focus on problem-solving. Knowing something is not equal to understanding it, understanding it doesn’t mean you can communicate and leverage it to solve business problems practically. To reach the state of knowledge proficiency and practice expert power wisely, it is also important to identify and close the gap between knowledge and insight. Insight is an understanding of the cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario. If knowledge is power, insight is like the superpower for enabling the business leaders and professionals to dig into the root cause or the core issues of a situation that leads to understanding and resolution, make sound judgments and solve problems smoothly.

Facilitate digital dialogues: Organizations are social realities that emerge from the communication patterns of people. Dialogue is a means of coordination based on expertise and responsibility. Digital dialog is neither a one-way street nor “once in a while“ event. It needs to be continuous, iterative, and multi-channel because change occurs on a continuum. Communication shouldn’t just enforce the hierarchical “command & control” management style. How can business leaders in authority evolve from their current ego-centric sense of self toward developing a greater and more human sense of self? They can build a leadership reputation via both asking and answering. All leaders, even with great expert power need to ask questions, but they also should assist in providing answers, to bridge the gap between questions and answers. By choosing to stand in your own power and respectfully holding a space for another's point of view, there is no conflict. Contemporary leaders could gain more trust and respect by asking the tough questions, as well as practicing expert power to provide wise answers. Highly effective leaders will do both naturally.

Knowledge is the first step to gain expert power. Knowledge can, under the right circumstances, allow you to access power. Well-defined principles and in-depth understanding can guide you in safe use of knowledge power. Wisdom can provide the moral and ethical framework or boundaries for the use of expert power effectively.


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