You may not always agree with an expert in your industry. You may have firsthand knowledge of a better way to do business or view the industry in a different way than the popular guru of the moment. Should you keep your opinion to yourself? How should you go about challenging an expert?
- Know your viewpoint
Before you proclaim the expert a fraud or simply openly disagree with their viewpoint, know YOUR viewpoint and your position on the subject. Be ready to address why your viewpoint is valid, what research or facts you have behind your viewpoint and most importantly, why should you be taken seriously. Be ready to discuss your credentials or background regarding the subject matter. If you are going to take on the popular expert in the field, you will have to justify your difference of opinion.
- Be flexible but strong
Stand your ground on your opinion but be flexible enough to listen to a differing viewpoint with patience and respect. Even if you don’t feel you are being given the same deference, does not mean you should react unkindly. Be professional and calm. State your position. Acknowledge that a healthy debate is a positive thing but you remain tied to your original position.
- Censoring comments
Be careful not to censor anyone who does not agree with your viewpoint. It is easy to delete online comments or ignore questions during a media interview that challenge your position but don’t give into that type of censoring. When challenging an expert, it is common to be questioned more vigorously. Be ready to state your position clearly and concisely and allow for open discussion and debate from all sides.
Challenging an expert can have its own set of difficulties but there is no reason why you shouldn’t express your own opinion if you feel passionately about it. Diverse opinions are a good thing and should be encouraged for healthy dialogue.