In a previous post, I discussed the problems of learning skills and attitudes from role models who aren’t competent. In this post I’ll discuss how to find real experts to learn from.
What makes an expert?
To find good exemplars (examples of a skill or ability) to learn from, evaluate their results. Ask:
- How good are the person’s actual results? It doesn’t matter if Rowena thinks she is the world expert in good relationships; it matters whether she has good relationships. Judge only by results, not by what you, she, or other people think will work, does work, or should work.
- Does this exemplar get consistently great results? Someone who has excellent relationship skills will tend to have lots of good relationships: with their spouse, parents, children, friends, neighbors, etc. They’ll also have minimal problems with bad relationships, quarrels, firings, and people doing nasty things to them.