So You Want to be a Training and Development Expert?

Regina Shupak

Regina Shupak

So you want to be a Training and Development Expert?  Seems that way to me since you are in the Training and Development Blog, likely pursuing a Training and Development degree?  How do you become a Training and Development expert?  Is just obtaining the degree?  Is it knowing all of the theory and being an expert at all of the different learning theories?  Is it knowing how to be the most innovative learner or Trainer?  What really makes us experts at what we want to be experts in?
So many things to read and just not enough time to really understand and even if you only had time and read it all, would you have a clear answer to how to be an expert?  Well, likely not.  It seems that no matter whom you ask they all have a slightly different answer.  Certainly, all of the answers are interesting but none of them are exactly the same.  I had opportunity to participate in an interview with Itzhak Perlman, the world’s Reigning Virtuoso of the Violin, via teleconference and then live in an auditorium about What makes an expert musician?  I thought certainly he would know as not only is he an expert violin virtuoso, but also a trainer.  He trains young children to play the violin at his music academy.  He believes that being an expert is not the only thing that is needed to be an amazing violinist.  In fact, he felt that you could have exact precision in technique but a lack of passion and understanding can halt an individual’s success.  Perlman also feels that practice for a trillion hours is not the answer.  An Expert needs to practice with quality and slow repetition rather than just quick redundancy.  If I understood him correctly, it seems that Itzhak Perlman believes that training alone, will not guarantee expert performance.  True experts are born with a passion, “spark” and feeling for music that cannot be created by training.

Now if that isn’t sad, I don’t know, what is!  We’ve all been raised to work hard and go to school and you can achieve anything!  But now we are hearing from experts that maybe this is not all true?  Well, I also had an opportunity to learn from Dr. Clay Marsh, Chief Innovations Officer at the Ohio State University.  With two separate conversations and two separate lectures, I understood Dr. Marsh to have a more holistic approach to training and becoming an expert.  He is able to show a clear link between training, education and overall individual health to expert performance.  He presents that our networks of colleagues, friends, families, customers all contribute to your overall health.  That the support of your network creates a happier and more successful you!  And a happier person, is a better student, learner and trainer.  He also draws a clear link to how your personal experiences, professional experiences, overall health are directly responsible to the ability to focus and dream about your future success leaving a fantastic opportunity for achieving expertise! Now that’s a bit more positive?  Maybe we can all become better Trainers, Students and Experts?

We’ve all heard that surgeons, athletes, super lawyers, and motivational speakers all have something in common, right?  We know they have incredible focus and drive to get to where they are, but how do they gain that particular expertise?  Is it just Training?  I suspect and propose that we, as Trainers, will need to take on a well-rounded approach if we want to be Training and Development Experts.  We will obtain our Training and Development degrees, we will understand the theory behind what we teach and train our learners.  We will maintain our innovation and capture attention when we train, but we will also need to keep our networks open, our experiences wide, our ideas flowing and our dreams big.  Keeping our focus, determination and dreams in mind while working with our network to achieve the goals of training and development programs will help you and I achieve our expertise.  Most importantly I think we need to be willing to go after what we want and not be afraid to make mistakes.  Taking risks to achieve expertise and promote the best training and development will keep pushing the boundaries for innovative training.  Before you know it, we will all be experts in the training and development arena.  Will you become an expert?  Do you think Training and Development expertise can be achieved?  What do you think the secrets to Training and Development expertise is? Where do you stand on becoming an Expert?

Check out some of these links for more information:

Clay Marsh:

Itzhak Perlman:

Here is a link to another Roosevelt University Blog, which I found related and interesting:

30 Qualities that Make Ordinary People Extraordinary:

About Eric

Eric Hahn is a graduate assistant in the Training & Development program and works as an editor, graphic designer and writer. He lives in Chicago and has a cat with a criminal mind.
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