I went into a meeting the other day with a client. There were several of us sitting around the table and we got into talking about a new strategy.
Of course, I became excited about the idea and starting speaking quickly and providing recommendations on how to move forward.
Then I realized I was making a big mistake!
I was like a horse charging forward to reach the riverbed and enjoy some water to quench my thirst. The problem was I wasn’t supposed to be quenching my thirst, but rather my client’s.
Within 30 seconds or less I realized my error and pulled back the reins. I did a 180 and send to my client “all of that is fine, but I really want to hear what you think about this situation.”
That may not seem like a big action worth writing a whole post about…
But looks can be deceiving.
This is indeed a very powerful principle. I turned the tables and empowered my client. I let them do the talking and I proceeded to guide the conversation.
The client felt that their input was being heard. I let them do the talking. I listened and asked questions.
You can’t find the root of a client’s problem when you’re the one jabbering away.
Listening and asking is what helps you uncover the real issues.
By the way. The meeting turned out great.
Ask yourself next time you’re in a meeting with a consulting client…are you listening enough? Are you empowering your client? Are you in control of the conversation?
Simple idea. Powerful concept.