We all have expertise in something. You may have detailed knowledge of a particular process or target client group. You may have expert understanding of what makes others tick. Or know how to bring teams together. Or something else entirely.
But we can’t all be experts in everything. Sharing our expertise with each other is a great way to help someone else out. To show how the things you know can benefit your colleagues.
Together we can become greater than the sum of our parts. This benefits us individually and our organisations.
Share and connect
Sometimes people can be reluctant or shy to share their expertise. They can feel as if they are showing off or boasting. They may worry that they are suggesting that they are somehow ‘better’ than someone else.
Of course, there is a risk of coming across that way, but I believe it comes down to how you share your expertise. If you use a patronising tone or talk down to the person you are helping, that doesn’t come across well. Or if you indicate with body language, huffing and puffing that sharing with them is an inconvenience to you.
On the other hand, sharing your expertise can be a way to use what you know and connect with someone else. Together you can focus on a positive outcome and not get hung up on the mechanics of the sharing process.
As professional communicators, it is part of our job to facilitate connections between colleagues. So we need to help them to share what they know.
3 ways to support expertise sharing
Here are some great ways that you can use your communication skills and knowledge to help others share.
Tell stories of colleagues helping each other
We had a story sent to the Time for Kindness programme from someone who had volunteered to do an online presentation at work. A colleague offered to help him develop and deliver the presentation. Her knowledge, skills and enthusiasm were hugely helpful to him. She took the information he wanted to get across and shaped it into slides in much less time than it would have taken him.
As well as the benefit to the individual himself, the charity they worked for benefitted from this collaborative approach too.
If you share stories like this at your organisation, you are helping to:
- Make people feel valued and recognised
- Promote cross-company connections
- Inspire others and spark ideas for new ways to share
Write a blog
A blog can be a great way to share your expertise with a wider audience. When there is a subject you know well, you have an appreciation of how to break down the topic into chunks that are more manageable for non-experts.
But not everyone is confident to write. As a communicator, you have the opportunity to encourage and support them.
Use your own expertise to make it as easy as possible for the would-be writer. You will have a clearer view than someone who is new to the subject. You can cut through to the things that matter most and give them writing tips and guidelines to follow.
Contribute what you know
Part of our role as communicators is to understand audiences. So the expertise you have often comes in the form of knowledge about a person, team or community. You may have understanding about their motivations, priorities and life experience that other people in your organisation do not have.
By sharing what you know, you can help others to understand that individual or group better. This improved understanding could help them to build better connections or to have a better conversation about a tricky subject.
There are lots of ways for people to share their expertise, from becoming a mentor to running a workshop and volunteering for a charity to answering their colleagues’ questions on a team night out. Think about the ways you can support them and encourage them for the particular sharing opportunity that works best for them.
If you’d like help working out what you can do, please feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation chat about the support I can give you.
Until next time