It would seem really odd that you wouldn't trust your own advisors. When you consider that you get to pick them out and decide if you want to work with them, the idea of not being able to trust them doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.
However, the lack of trust in your advisors is a key problem for many executives. There are a lot of reasons why there isn't much, if any, trust in some advisors. Many of the reasons can be good ones, too. It could be due to past experiences in the business world. It could be that someone is intimidated by their advisor. The advisor may appear to be serving his or her own interests at the cost of the client. It also could be that the advisor isn't as effective as he or she once was for the client. Or the reason could be that the advisor has done something that causes the client not to trust the advisor anymore, such as a misunderstanding or feeling betrayed.
You Should Trust Your Own Advisors
Whatever the reason, it is really important to trust your own advisors. After all, their main purpose is to support you and your organization, and to make you stronger in your understanding and effectiveness. You cannot afford to be wondering about how trustworthy are your advisors. Questioning those areas is a nagging, negative feeling that results in more problems for you to focus on what you need to be doing.
Let's cover a few points that will help you in the process of trusting your advisors.
Know your advisors well by taking the time to know them and to know their strengths and weaknesses.
Just like a good salesperson, do your homework. Study them. Do some research. Look through LinkedIn.com and read through their profiles. Go online and do some searches to find what they've done in the past. Ask about their other clients and especially those clients who are similar to you in your personal and professional paths. If they have some references, give those people a call and find out more about what they do well and what they don't do as well. Do your best to get a well-rounded view of who they are and what they do well.
Please understand that this is not a research project to find some terrible information about them. What you are trying to accomplish here is a better understanding of your advisors and how you can be most effective for them as they work to be most effective for you. When you find that you have personal and professional connections and relationships with them, and that you share particular interests and goals, it allows you to develop more common ground for you to build trust.
Work towards the candid conversations you need to have.
So many people who have advisors seem to avoid having the hard conversations. Many people are intimidated by their advisors. It's as if the advisors are just so much smarter and wiser. Even though most advisors are very smart in a particular area, that knowledge doesn't mean that someone should be scared by what their advisors know. Or an advisor may make a mistake or create a situation where the client thinks that the advisor isn't trustworthy. Sometimes mistakes are made because of the advisor. There are many situations where an advisor makes a mistake because of something the client said or did that gave the advisor the wrong information.
If you want to trust your own advisors, you need to set up and maintain the situation to create trust. Regardless of the situation, it is up to you to take the steps to keep your advisors informed of what you want and how you want to accomplish it. It's also up to you to set and maintain expectations for both sides. Many advisors choose the approach for clients to decide how things are going to be managed. Few clients take the lead. Instead, it's up to you to figure out the boundaries and the expectations and how everyone can succeed within them.
If necessary, make the tough decisions.
The reality is that every business relationship isn't always a strong and stable one. Sometimes you just can't maintain the level of trust you need. Even after you make the effort to communicate with your advisor, you may find that there just isn't that “connection” with them. Problems that seem to be growing are an important sign. You may find that you see that your objectives don't align with your advisor. Then it may be that you are finding that your advisor can't provide you the level of service you need. Regardless of the situation, you may find that you can't maintain a level of trust you need. These are challenges which require you to make the tough decisions.
When you are faced with the tough decision of changing the relationship, don't be afraid to make them. As the saying goes when it comes to hiring and firing employees, the same applies to advisors: hire slowly and fire quickly. Remember the concept is simple: you must trust your own advisors. When you know that it's just not working, it is better to have those tough conversations. You may want to have “one more conversation” to give your advisor a chance to resolve the situation. Remember, though, that you don't want the situation to linger. If you can't see any reasonable way to regain trust in your advisor, you need to start the process of finding a new advisor in that particular area. After that, you need to have that conversation – and soon.
To trust your own advisors is an important aspect for your success. Do yourself a favor and spend time strategizing how you can maintain and build trust with those advisors which you want to walk alongside you as you become more successful.