How to be an expert without being arrogant


When my dad first hired me to work alongside him in our family business there was one thing he told me that I still remember to this day.

He told me to always speak up if I could find a better way at doing things because even though he had been a plumber for 30 years, he didn’t know everything. The reason I remember this is because I became eager to find better ways at doing tasks within our business. It also taught me that there would always be something new to learn no matter how experienced I became as a plumber.

Throughout Tafe and during my years as a plumber, I was on the ball when it came learning the plumbing by-laws.

I didn’t mind the exams at Tafe. When I did my exam relating to plumbing in three storey buildings (it was probably one of the hardest exams throughout the course), the door into the classroom was open to the adjacent staff room. One of the older teachers who liked to joke around interrupted the class by shouting, ‘Sh*t, the exam must be hard if Bec’s still doing it’, and of course the class laughed and I kind of felt embarrassed that I was spending so long on the exam, but I really wanted to make sure I answered each question right.

At work, I was often the pessimistic one when a client would ask dad and I to do a nearly impossible job. My dad would be the optimist which would find both of us doing the said job, with dad muttering how difficult it was. I could have been arrogant and said I told you so, but there would have been no point because it wouldn’t have got the job finished any quicker.

I don’t believe I’m an expert in plumbing. In fact I was reminded of my slide from plumbing-by-law grace when my dad commented on a blog post I wrote about exposed copper pipe in bathrooms.

Facebook Message

I thought I had covered every consideration when it came to this emerging trend from overseas, but it turns out having a third baby has turned my brain to mush. Exposed copper pipe in any space needs to be lagged which is a plumbing by-law and looks ugly when exposed. This exposed pipe trend is one that CAN’T be done in QLD because of this plumbing by-law.

Thankfully I was able to update my post with this info the same day it was published, but it became a waste of a post because it didn’t relate to 80% of my readers who are from Australia.

I didn’t beat myself up at my mistake and I didn’t get offended by my dad’s correction. I’m thankful he left it. My dad is new to social media (only joined this year) so he’s getting used to commenting and liking posts on Facebook and Instagram.

I’m no expert at being humble, but I think it’s important to have to avoid becoming arrogant.

The world is constantly changing which means what was done yesterday, can be done better today.

I hope that as I get older I remember that no matter how much I know, I will always remain eager to learn. Hopefully this will help me cope with change as each year passes by.

What are you an expert in and have you ever made a monumental mistake that you should have known because of your expertise?

I’m linking up with With Some Grace for Flog yo blog Friday.