How long does it take for someone to become expert in one particular skill? Something which intrigued me is the expert performance rule found by Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Romer (1993). They, kind of postulated that it takes 10,000 hours or 10-years (20 hours for 50 weeks a year for ten years = 10,000) of intense training and ‘deliberate practice’ to become an expert in almost anything. Does it really happen? Maybe yes it happens for chess players, sportsmen, actors, singers, musicians and some public speakers. In simple words, it says practice makes the experts. But what kind of practice? Is it routine practice during routine activities where individual is focussing on incremental improvement? The answer is no. The practice Ericssson proposed was ‘deliberate practice’. They referred ‘Deliberate practice’ as a highly individualized training on tasks selected by a qualified teacher for the purposes of building expertise in an individual. Four components which form the deliberate practice are: focused goals which are determined by a teacher to improve a specific aspect of performance; concentration and effort; feedback from a teacher comparing real to desired performance; and further opportunities for practice.

Do we see examples of this in our daily life? Is it possible to really apply this rule in professional world? As a professional how long does it take to reach the world-class expertise? Maybe that has never been answered given we do not strive to reach world-class expertise in our daily professional life and jobs.

Achieving expertise in professional and day-to-day life is very challenging problem. As an individual we probably would want expertise to come out of regular, day-to-day professional or personal jobs. This happens when personal passions and drives get in harmony with professional work and activities. This is the stage called “personal resonance” which results in peak performance. Achieving this ‘personal resonance’ is imperative in today’s world of cutting-edge competition.

In later posts, I will shed lights on some amazing research on achieving ‘personal resonance’ in day-to-day personal and professional life.

Stay tuned!!!


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Raman K. Attri is a Training Transformational Consultant, Learning Strategist and Researcher with rare experience in shortening time-to-proficiency of employees performing complex jobs at complex organizations. Strong believer in personal performance as the starting point of any world-class leadership, he developed a scientific model Personal Resonance© to achieve peal personal performance and self-leadership. Additionally he helps trainers, learning specialists, instructional designers and training professionals with articles on proven techniques to transition successfully into training and learning management role.

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