Lately I’ve bumped into an issue that a lot of experience experts bump into as well. An experience expert is someone who knows a lot about something (usually psychological, or physical problems) because they have experienced it themselves and they try to help other clients and professionals in the caring sector.
As you might have noticed, I’m trying to use my experience to help others as well. I haven’t got an education for this though, so I can’t call myself an experience expert. I’m simply someone who’s willing to help. Because I love putting up events, that’s usually the ‘tool’ I use to help others.
This is very cool to me, as I meet a lot of professionals and get to make a bridge between clients and professionals. I learn a lot from both sides and even learn that it’s possible to be both a professional and a client. The borders between the two are slowly fading, which, in my opinion, is a good thing. This causes a lot of understanding between both sides.
There’s just one glitch here, though. A lot of professionals, as well as visitors to my events, sometimes tend to forget that I’m a client myself. I have autism, chronic fatigue and asthma. These things can be a great help in my life, but also need special attention that tend to be overlooked. People usually expect a lot of professionalism from me. They expect me to meet potential business partners in a very professional way and be strong within this. Not everyone does this, mind you. But it happens sometimes. Then, when I don’t look people in the eye and get all nervous and also have to rest a lot, they get confused and uncertain of my professionalism. Then I have to remind them: I’m a client as well.
Just because I try to make more and more connections in the business world to help move my cause forward, doesn’t mean that my autism, chronic fatigue and asthma conveniently disappear. Meeting new people is still scary. I still can’t look people in the eye. I still have social problems. I still get tired very fast.
But all of this doesn’t just suddenly erase my knowledge. I know it doesn’t make me look like I know what I’m talking about, but I do. My experience doesn’t disappear. In fact, you are experiencing what I live with every day right in front of your nose.
Experience experts usually face the same problems. The separation between ‘experience’ and ‘expert’. Don’t forget their experience. Instead of turning away from them, because they’re not like your every-day professionals, rather learn from them. You get to see whatever they’re trying to teach you about in real life. You get to see what they struggle with right in front of your nose. Don’t turn away, but learn from it. That, to me, is the true strength of an experience expert.
Note: I’m NOT an educated experience expert. I simply made the comparison. I am just someone who loves to use her experience to help others. (I’d love to be an experience expert though. But the only school which teaches this, is a 2 hours’ drive away from my home…)