Our colleague Elena Paraskevas-Thadani Shares Some Thoughts on Growth Mindset and What Expertise Truly Means

EPT’s founder and president, Elena Paraskevas-Thadani, shares insight that you do not need to have done everything to be an expert.

“I can fix it, no problem,” my husband Deepak Thadani assured me after I spilled coffee on my laptop keyboard and fried it. “I’ll just swap the keyboard out.”

“You can do that?” I asked, surprised.

“Sure I can. It’s just a part,” he replied confidently.

I never stopped to think about it, but he was right. He ordered a keyboard replacement, resembling a tile, and armed with wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers, he began disassembling my laptop on the kitchen table and pried out the damaged keyboard.

As the laptop lay in pieces, he pulled up a YouTube video on his phone on installing keyboards in laptops.

“Wait,” I said in dismay, overcome with doubt as my most prized work tool lay scattered in front of him. “Have you ever done this before?”

“Nope,” he said, unperturbed, and continued watching the video.

Twenty minutes later, my laptop was reassembled, sporting a new keyboard, and was functioning as good as new.

Despite never having installed this particular part before, he was no less an expert. His decades of experience playing with and building computers since the 80s proved invaluable. His knowledge and know-how were transferable; he knew the right questions to ask, the gaps in his knowledge, and where to find answers.

When he said, ‘I can fix it,’ he meant it.

Expertise isn’t always about having specific experience in every possible scenario. It’s about having the confidence to tackle challenges head-on and the resourcefulness to find solutions, no matter the circumstances. It’s a lesson in the power of belief in oneself, to be able to apply what you know to the problem at hand, and the ability to adapt and learn on the fly.

And I gratefully get to type all this using my new keyboard.