today i listened to this canadian couch potato podcast episode. it was a talk with dr. steve wendel on the investor success.

the episode, besides the great content, caught my attention when Dr. Wendel mentioned that financial advisors and their clients have different expectations.

they discussed research showing that financial advisors have high expectations that their clients, beyond other goals, were counting on them to avoid making bad investments decisions.

but that’s not what investors primarily want from their financial advisors: they want to reach their financial goals and maximize their profits. they don’t think they are susceptible to the same errors as everyone else in investments, so they don’t need help with that.

that is a massive expectation gap and it all comes to the way we use our cognitive biases in bad contexts. we confidently believe only others make silly mistakes and we are not the ones who need help. crazy, uh?

it’s the same with software, in my opinion. i’m still fairly new to software development, having less than 2 years working with it, so it’s completely natural that i still need to ask for help when i’m stuck.

although that is getting less frequent, i still think that it’s a sign of weakness if i ask for help. but this approach is not helpful at all: it can cost money (and time) in the future if i do something wrong simply because i don’t want to ask for help. that is something that i’ve improved, but it’s always a work in progress.

it’s natural for us to not show any weaknesses. but there’s so much we can know, about so little. it’s not a bad thing to ask for help. being humble is what keeps us learning and helps us improve.

let’s all don’t forget, then: being humble and recognizing that we need help is a highly underestimated skill.