Benji Rabhan, Founder & CEO Of Apollo Scheduling

Don’t Fall Prey To The Halo Effect
Instead qualify everybody (including experts) before you ask them for advice

When getting advice, many make the mistake of asking experts for advice in areas where (1) Their expertise isn’t relevant to the situation or (2) They’re not a true expert on the topic. This is a cognitive bias known as the halo effect.

To avoid this mistake, I recommend taking the following two steps at the beginning of any consulting or mentorship session:

Check for fit. I like to open two things: a summary of my goals and a threshold question, such as “Based on what I said, am I talking to the right person or is there someone else you think I should also talk to?” This gives them a socially acceptable way to admit if they aren’t a fit.

Make sure they’re a true expert. For any answer I receive from them, I ask them how they arrived at that answer. If I’m still unsure, I ask them why. If they’re truly an expert, they will have direct, objective answers, often based on empirical and historical evidence(most often from first-hand experience).