Are Experts Still Experts after You Hire Them?

Have you ever noticed that when a church hires an expert, about 6 months into their employment they are no longer regarded as an expert? Why is this? I’ve heard stories about consultants that were paid top dollar by a church and later brought on staff, only to have the same kind of opinions they were paid so highly for before be disregarded. They find themselves having to bring in a consultant to say exactly what they have been saying before they can proceed.

If you went out of your way to hire the very best person you could find, someone you respected enough to offer a job to, why would their opinion be less valuable after they’ve been on the team for a while?

I think this is more about interpersonal relationships than loss of knowledge. It may be from loss of respect, or some sort of unresolved conflict. Maybe they have even made a couple of mistakes. Regardless, the person you hired is still the same expert. Yet, because they know they have lost that stats in your eyes, they are even more frustrated than they would have been.

The key is to recognize their area of expertise. In church work it is often required to branch out of your area of expertise and get the job done. Audio experts may have to do video or lighting. Lighting experts might have to use a camera. A video expert might have to write for the web. A writer might have to shoot a photo.

No one would expect an audio expert to render expert advice on a new HD capture device. Now, she may know something about video, and might be able to contribute to the conversation, but she would not claim to be an expert. However, if you asked her opinion of a new sound board or microphone, it would be a mistake to think her advice is equal to the rest of the team.

When you hire experts, keep their area of expertise in mind. Trust them. Don’t expect them to be an expert in every area, but if they make a recommendation within their field, don’t ignore it.


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