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Expert Stage in Vertical Development

We live in a world with many “experts.” Sometimes, we appreciate their expertise in solving our problems; sometimes, we are irritated by their ‘one right way’ point of view.

In adult development theory, there are stages of development, including the expert stage. In this stage, people wish to be special and feel superior because they think they have everything all figured out.

Leaders in this stage see the right way to do things, have a low tolerance for things not being done “right,” and have a low tolerance for people who disagree with them. Their decision-making is typically unilateral.

To work with people in this stage, acknowledging they are special will get their ears to listen and help them focus on goals and outcomes instead of the right way.

Occasionally, we all can fall back to the expert stage when under pressure or frustrated. We would say, ” This is how we do,” to eliminate other suggestions. When we notice this fallback, we want to reflect, start to see others’ perspectives, and go back to our stage of the center of gravity.

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