When you have the urge to help someone, what is your motive?
We like to think that we are always being altruistic when we reach out to help others, but I’m not so sure our motivations are so pure.
In this TED Talk, Ernesto Sirolli talks about how we often see those we are trying to help as either less than ourselves, or as our children.
And that the path to real assistance of those we see in need goes through deep listening to those we wish to help.
When I first started my business, I found most of my clients very frustrating to work with. I would come up with these amazing ideas that would revolutionize the client’s business, but the client would never take action on them.
After a year or so of this, I realized that no matter how amazing the idea was, if the client didn’t feel like she owned it — like it was hers — she didn’t take action on it.
As a result, I shifted how I coach my clients and now do a lot more listening than I did before. I still offer suggestions, even often have amazing ideas that I share with my clients, but these are all based on the direction the client sets.
I invite you to take a look at your own business and how you work with your clients.
Do you ever:
- Feel that you know better than the client what he/she should do?
- Get frustrated that the client isn’t implementing your suggestions and advice?
- Get so caught up in your own vision about how things should go that you fail to see that the client isn’t on the same page?
If you see yourself in any of these statements, you aren’t alone.
Shifting how you work with your clients so that you do more listening, rather than talking, can have a huge impact on your success.
When the client is fully in the driver’s seat, she is more committed to doing the work necessary to move forward.
It can be difficult to shift how you work with your clients, especially if you’ve been using the same techniques for a long time. But making this shift is worth it, for both you and the client.
You’ll find it much less frustrating to work with your clients when they are consistently moving forward. And your clients will be much more successful. That’s a win-win if I ever heard one.