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# Saturday, 18 October 2008

This isn't a post about blindly following someone, but this is a posting about acknowledging and yielding to your colleague's specific knowledge in an area. We all don't and can't know everything and each of us as individuals has spent time developing our knowledge in specific areas of expertise. I sit in countless meetings where everyone feels the need to question and understanding everything. Once you realize that you can't understand everything, you then get to limit your scope and you are going to find that your life is a lot easier (and meetings much shorter and productive). One of the important reasons that we have teams is that each individual brings a unique set of skills to the table and at some point when you don't understand something you need to yield to the "expert" on your team, or possible outside your team, on the subject matter. I use the term expert loosely because I consider very few people I know to be a complete expert on any specific subject matter, but I do consider people around me to be experts over me in a subject matter. Just as we yield to a master chef to prepare a meal properly, we need to yield to our colleagues in their areas of expertise. Sure most of us know how to prepare a hamburger, but there are obviously much more complicated dishes that we could/should never attempt. I am not a master at UI design and I don't claim to be. Sure I can put a button and a grid on the screen, but I have no problems yielding to an "expert" colleague in this area. This doesn't mean that you can't way in when you think something is a completely bad idea, but when the conversation/debate continues to drag on and a decision needs to be made then the "expert" needs to be yielded to. This also doesn't imply that everyone on the team has an expertise. Some members are still too green, and unfortunately in some cases a team member has enough problems staying up with the basics to ever dive deeper into a topic. These individuals just need to realize that they can't understand everything right away and sometimes they just need to sit back and listen. I understood about 10% of the IADNUG meetings when I first started attending and it took me a better part of a year before I fell in stride with the other members. I'm not saying you shouldn't ask questions, but sometimes you should sit back, absorb the information, and realize that you don't understand it now, but in the future when you seen more examples, more applications, and have absorbed more you might and until then you can yield to the "expert". Of course all this still leaves you needing to decide who are the "experts" on your team and what are they "experts" in….

Saturday, 18 October 2008 03:53:42 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to del.icio.us - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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David A. Osborn
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