The secret to develop expertise…Deliberate Practice amol gupta's blog

(This article is inspired from HBR article published in 2007, written by K Anders Ericsson, Michael J Prietula and Edward T.)

We all have the tendency to belief that expertise is born not made. However, invariably if we go deeper, we will find that genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice and honest and painful self assessment. In actual, there are no real shortcuts. As research points, what lies at the heart of developing expertise is “Practice”. The following dialogue beautifully explains the point :
Once when I became concerned because others around me practiced all day long, I asked my mentor how many hours I should practice?” said famous violist Nathan Milstein. Mentor (Prof Auer) replied, “It really does not matter how long. If you practice with your fingers, no amount is enough. If you practice with your head, two hours is plenty.

To develop expertise in Art / Sport is quite evident unlike knowledge work. Let me put down the methods outlined in this article which can help you develop expertise in this area of work where most aspects of work are not visible:

1. Practice case-studies to develop leadership and decision making. This method is used to taught decision making in area of strategy, leadership in many business administration schools. Because the eventual outcome is known, the students can immediately judge the merits of their proposed solutions.

2. Role plays where leaders and managers are designed to improve their charisma and persuasion.

3. Reconstruct some creation e.g. A concept from memory in own words without referring to the original work.

4. for e.g. to learn speaking better, practicing in front of mirror or recording and watching yourself. This gives immediate feedback and opportunity to improve. Refer this nice article by Andrew NG (one of the co creator of Coursera and instructor of one of the top rated course.). He recollects that he was able to improve from being the worst instructor at the university to the top rated professor.

5. If you want to practice better articulation, articulate in advance what a master communicator is planned to say e.g. he is announcing launch of an event. After the launch speech, compare your delivery with his.

At the core of deliberate practice is feedback. This feedback can be provided by either a coach or even yourself. Recently lot of people have started talk about it e.g. Angela Duckworth (Author of Grit), Malcom Gladwell (Author of many famous books including Outliers), James Clear (Author of Power of Habit) and Cal Newport (Author of Deep Work). Click on the hyperlinks to watch / read their thoughts.

Also, feel free to please add new ways you deploy or you deployed to develop expertise or conquer an area. These examples might come from a time you mastered a difficult topic at school or developed a skill. Looking forward to hear from you.