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Trust in Your Body of Work

Trust in Your Body of Work

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell outlines the 10,000 hour rule.

The principle is that 10,000 hours of practice is what is needed to become world class in any field. For many executives, their knowledge or expertise in their industry probably exceeds this. Yet, when it comes to presenting information or a pitch to a board, shareholders, clients or other influencers, it can be challenging to determine what to include and what not to include.

Whilst recently working with an executive to prepare a regular presentation that had become “tired”, instead of talking about what to INCLUDE, we spoke about what NOT to include.

Although it seemed counter-intuitive to NOT include certain pertinent pieces of information, my advice was to trust in your body of work.

1940’s psychologist Abraham Maslow’s model of the Four Stages of Learning describes how we learn:

1/ Unconscious incompetence, where you don’t know that you don’t know something.

2/ Conscious incompetence, where you are aware that you don’t incompetent at something.

3/ Conscious competence, where you develop a skill, but you have to think about it when you use it.

4/ Unconscious Competence, where you have good at it and it now comes naturally.

In a world full of information overload, too much is TOO MUCH.

Less is more.

If you have extensive expertise in an industry, business or role, it is likely you have unconscious competence. If that is the case, rather than stress about your next presentation, consider placing greater trust in the unconscious knowledge you possess to answer questions your audience may pose, rather than trying to create a presentation that answers everything but achieves nothing.


Donna works with executives and their teams to increase productivity and performance with everyday technology. Contact Donna for help donna@donnahanson.com.au or visit www.donnahanson.com.au for more information.

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