Relying on Experts for Their Expertise

Photo by Derek Bruff

Photo by Derek Bruff

How often do we put ourselves in the hands of experts and trust their judgment to help us?

I've been seeing the same hair stylist for over 10 years. She knows my hair, she knows my lifestyle, and she knows that I'm not going to spend much time styling my own hair. Each visit, I sit down in the chair and let her do whatever she wants. She's not going to give me blue hair or a really edgy style because she knows that won't work in my role as a coach/consultant and with who I am. I don't have to learn what to ask for or suffer the same style year after year. My stylist knows better than me what will work and what the trends are.

When I am picking out new glasses each year, I rely on the employee in the shop to tell me what styles look good and which don't. If she doesn't think a pair works on me, I don't bother to look in the mirror. Styles that I might not have tried otherwise make their way into the pool of options. I feel safer to explore new looks because I have someone who will give me honest feedback. Picking out a different style each year is exciting rather than nerve-wracking or mundane. She knows better than me what will work and what the trends are.

Shopping for clothes and accessories became easier when I started working with a stylist. She knows my lifestyle (work and non-work), she knows my body type, and she knows my budget. I show up to a dressing room full of items for me to try on and consider, and inevitably, there are a few pieces to push me outside of my comfort zone. Not every piece is a winner, and that's great--I tried something and decided if it was me or not. Sometimes the style is flattering and the item just isn't me, and sometimes the idea is great and the fit isn't. I end up with a wardrobe that works for me without the frustration of searching. It's hard to know what will work or not work when you see it on a hanger. Once again, my stylist knows better than me what will work and what the trends are.

It takes effort to become a trusted partner for your expertise. There's deep knowledge and passion for your area and continual learning. Building relationships and a willingness to tell the truth when something just doesn't work. And a focus on the other person over yourself. Those are the experts who experience the joy of a trusted partnership, and it's great when it is achieved.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.