2015 Client Planning: Be More Open Than Right

One week to go before the holiday distractions arrive (parties, vacations, last-minute shopping)…how’s it going?

On the shoulders of my last post about questions to ask clients before 2015, I’ve realized throughout my end-of-year client interactions how essential it is to remain open and curious versus right. And I know I’m right about that!

For many, having their opinion confirmed as “right” is the same as knowing they have been heard. I’ve seen this manifest at holiday parties along with year-end planning meetings.

Its quite interesting to notice and comport myself accordingly. I’ll explain.

Clients Want to Be Right

Have you ever noticed how “invested” certain people are in being right? You know the type. As they speak, you hear only declarations from them. Then, as you respond back, you see them almost turn off and pensively wait until you’re done so that they can repeat what they just declared?

Let It Happen

The desire to have their declarations confirmed, thus being seen as right, is often driven by either ego or the zeal to be heard. Either way, they want their ideas/statements affirmed. LET IT HAPPEN.

It’s actually quite relational and mature to let it happen. It also says “I’ve got time and empathy for you, always.” It’s yet another way of establishing/fostering your relationship into 2015.

Use What You Hear

Affirming a client also gives you time to listen intently to their ideas and values about an issue. You and I need this knowledge. We can use it to compare it to our idea on the issue so that we can determine what parts of their argument are sound and need to be factored into our eventual recommendation.

What this means is WE don’t always have to be right. What WE need to do is be patient and have the confidence to know that when all the ideas have been presented, we will be able to synthesize an effective recommendation.

Try it, you’ll like it. Pretty sure I’m right about that.