13 Questions on How to Model the Pros

These are 13 questions that you can ask the pro/expert or you can ask yourself. The idea is that you break down the skill and analyse what the person does to become so good at it. Of course, there are many more things you could ask, but this is a really good start. 

  1. Where and when do you do it?   
  2. What specifically do you do?  
  3. If you were going to teach me to do it, what would you ask me to do?  
  4. What skills do you have that enable you to do this? 
  5. How did you learn how to do this?  
  6. What do you believe about yourself when you do this? 
  7. What do you believe about the person you're doing this to? 
  8. Do you have a personal mission or vision when you're doing this?  
  9. How do you know that you're good at this?  
  10. What emotional and physical state are you in when you do this?  
  11. What happened for you to be good at this?  
  12. What are you trying to achieve when you do this? 
  13. Who else do you recommend I talk to about this?

Gary Klein is a decision making expert but he also analyses experts to see how and why they exceed in their field. Is it that they have special intuition? Is it hours and hours of practice? Below are a couple of key points that he highlights, but check out his book "Sources of Power" for more information on decision making. It's a great read. 

I identified a number of ways that experts in different fields learn
— Gary Klein
  1. They engage in deliberate practice, so that each opportunity for practice has a goal and evaluation criteria.
  2. They compile an extensive experience bank.
  3. They obtain feedback that is accurate, diagnostic, and reasonably timely.
  4. They enrich their experiences by reviewing prior experiences to derive new insights and lessons from mistakes

I hope you found this post interesting and useful. Thanks for reading. Ronan


Klein, G. A. (1998) Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press