Having expertise in your field is a positive, but sometimes it leads to overconfidence. You might start to believe your usual methods are the best, or the only, way to get things done — which means you miss out on new ideas, fail to anticipate trends, and narrow your perspective. There is an old saying, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
To avoid falling into this expertise trap, commit to constant learning and growth. Check your ego by seeking out fresh ideas and revisiting your assumptions about how a project should be carried out. Surround yourself with people who don’t look and think like you. Encourage younger employees to share the topics they’re excited about and point out key insights you may be missing. And set aside time to reflect on what you’ve learned from teammates, especially those whose expertise is different from yours. Learning — just like building your expertise — should be a lifelong pursuit.
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