Building Trust: Have an opinion, but don’t always express it

Trust is not necessarily gained by expressing “how you think things should be handled”.  Many times, especially if you are new, you will be wrong anyway.

It’s a good practice for a good engineer to be doing 2 things:

  1. Imagining how you would treat a situation in the studio – Let’s say there is a problem getting a certain overdub done.  You should know your role in this situation.  If you were hired to be “an engineer” then do that for the time being.  Your job is to make people NOT think about what your responsibility is.  You should have enough future site to try to head off awkward situations.  If you hear that the producer MAY be unhappy with a certain mic or preamp, then you should be devising a plan to switch mics, preamps etc. in the most ninja-like fashion possible.
  2. Practicing NOT voicing your opinion too much – Restraint is key.  When you are new to this job or new to this client, you should listen twice as much as you speak.  This is why we have two ears and just one mouth.  When someone asks you your opinion, well, this is where rule #1 pays off big.  It looks like you are smart and not just opinionated.

Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean that everyone needs to hear it.

You should always be paying attention to what’s going on so that if someone asks you, you won’t look like you don’t care.

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