Reflecting upon my recent family trip to Goa which was wonderful, one thing strikes noticed that Dennis Joaquim, a taximan, became a trusted advisor and go to person for me throughout my trip, though I never met him before. Meeting him was just a coincidence at Calva Beach while I was trying to talk someone to confirm my information regarding certain places in Goa which we had captured through Google. While trying to analyse the reasons why Dennis became a trusted advisor for me, some key points strike me are:
Sincerity and genuineness in helping – The way he talked (body language and tone of voice) and
answered my queries, he made me very comfortable talking to him. He sounded like more
concerned in answering my questions rather than getting business from me.
Listening and communication – He used to listen us very patiently and attentively, he didn’t show
any sign of rush or impatience while waiting during my internal family discussion for any decision. He was an excellent communicator and very few times I had to ask to repeat or explain again.
Rapport – within few short conversations on day one of my trips while he taking me to different
places, he really developed very good rapport with me and family, seemed like we knew each other
for a long time and we got very comfortable buying his service.
Information & knowledge – He displayed solid knowledge of place, history and culture about Goa.
After day one we almost stopped googling and reviewing information on Internet and he was just
one phone call away for any advice and information.
Advices – Before providing any advice, he often used to ask exploring questions about my need
and requirement, listened me carefully and He often suggested 2-3 options (whether about a spot,
place, restaurant or beach) with pros and cons and left the decision making to us. Doing so he
developed trust and intimacy with us.
Reliable and credible – He showed a sense of reliability by picking and dropping us on time and
responding my message and phone call without any delay. We became quite dependant on him.
Initially I was a bit sceptical and concerned but after day one interactions he became quite credible
who we could trust. Moreover, we never got any opportunity to doubt his intention and didn’t notice any wrong motive such as ripping me off.
Enthusiastic & energetic – he was very good at lively casual conversation, full of enthusiasm and
energy and making us laugh many times with his way of talking. He knew the boundary where to
stop conversation and never disturb in our internal family conversation during ride.
Coming to my business analysis work life, I always fascinated by skill ‘trusted advisor’ and have
been listening this from seniors & peers about how could business analyst become a trusted
advisor for the business or the client. I am realising that becoming a trusted advisor is a journey
rather than a class room skill training where you could easily learn it. The experience, practice and
concerted efforts play major role in making it a habit. It is hard to become a trusted advisor at junior
BA level or early years of your career, a certain level of experience, expertise and competency
must be there to put yourself in shoe of trusted advisor. The thing is we don’t have clear cut
designation of ‘Trusted Advisor’ in business analysis world or in wider business change
transformation programme, an individual could be treated as trusted advisor by business or client
due his or her personal quality, professional skills, business knowledge, courage, experience and
Recalling my experiences, I could count few instances where I got chance to perform as a trusted
advisor of internal business or client and that was only possible due to closely working with
business, gaining business knowledge, becoming go to person, forward thinking
and developing rapport with business folks while deliberating upon business problems and
With further thinking and analysis, I understand that this skill could take business analyst to a very senior analyst and leadership roles such as business strategy analyst, leadership of business analysis practice, senior customer/client relationship roles, executive management executive role and so on within an organisation. So as a Business analyst, we should be conscious about this skill and never lose any opportunity to enhance or to perform this skill.
In my understanding key factors which count towards a natural Trusted Advisor are depicted here.
If one works with above factors consciously and best effort, I am sure with time and experience you won’t realise when you became capable of being a trusted advisor.
Working on above factors would help develop trust based relationship with customer/client where one should be able to provide a rational and logical advice without any fear and bias. At the same time one would be able to challenge assumptions & status quo with sense of helping rather than proving that someone is right or wrong.
I hope you find the blog useful and please do share any comment/feedback.
Ravi Kumar, an independent business analysis practitioner & director at Nityasoft LTD based in UK with over 18 years of experience consulting business analysis for many organisations in Europe and globe. Ravi is Certified Business Analyst Professional and has International Diploma in Business Analysis, BCS,UK.