When are you an expert vs. practitioner? Good question. One thing I think that is really unfortunate is those concepts are often tied to age. Meaning, it wouldn't be uncommon for an older mediator to be given "expert" status rather than just "practitioner." Sure, age usually brings experience but how often can it drive someone to "expert" status? It also short-changes talented youth. The younger practitioners may be looked upon with skepticism, hesitancy, or even fear...all of which may be unfounded!
And then again we run into that question of how do you even define a term like "expert". Maybe it's only your own definition that matters - you want to believe you are an "expert" then let it be. Who I am to come in an say you aren't?
In law school, many professors impress upon us the importance of establishing a good reputation and then protecting this reputation. Perhaps if you insure your work is of good quality and maintain good relationships with everyone you work with, then the expert status might just naturally come along and stick to your name when others discuss your work.
I also agree that we should always be reflective. When we discuss reflection in our NDR courses, I always say how awkward it can be. I think society has programmed us so well to leave the past in the past. At really, it's not a fun activity to remember embarrassing moments and "learn" from them. But after being forced-and yes, I say I was forced because I really didn't like it at first-to reflect for two semesters, I see the benefits. And I also see how too few people engage in the reflective practice, to their detriment! So apparently I am a convert to the reflective process that is an important key in dispute resolution. What a difference a year can make in changing my mind!
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