Do Your Clients Need A Poke In The Eye
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Problems, barriers, difficulties, challenges and excuses. I'm sure you face
these from many potential clients and even, I'm guessing, from some of your
So is it time to stop fawning, stop bending your rules, stop rescoping work,
stop giving them want they want (rather than what they need) and start "poking
them in the eye"?
A poke in the eye can be: necessary, unexpected, scary, challenging,
provocative, risky, fun, exciting, liberating, illuminating, powerful and
In my experience, the poke in the eye for progress works more often than not -
with one huge caveat - intention. If your intention is driven by your desire to
help and support your client - fantastic. If your intention is driven by your
ego - forget it.
The poke in the eye approach has 3 steps to 3 outcomes
* Reflecting to someone the reality - laid bare - of a situation.
* Showing the tangible or visual impact of that reality
* Highlighting the consequences of action (or inaction), attitude or behaviour
* Explaining through examples, what, why and how particular action, attitude and
behaviour is contributing to or causing a situation
* Asking questions that engage at a basic level about what is required versus
what is being achieved
* Hearing a change from the client that they "get it" now
As a result of awareness and understanding
* Commitment to changes in strategy, tactics or operations
* Commitment to changes in behaviour
* Commitment to change what is measured based on what results are wanted
All too often many consultants are fearful of upsetting clients in case they
lose business or gain a "bad reputation", yet in my own business, I have found
that the poke in the eye approach or "wake up call" can be as simple as asking
great questions: The questions will differ according to the situation.
The majority of the time I believe the poke in the eye approach offers more
value and at a deeper level (with timing and great questions) than simply
responding to what the client thinks they want or the problem they think they
As objective onlookers, consultants are in a privileged position to see what is
really going on, feel what is really going on and hear what is really going on,
when a client may be playing hear, speak and see no evil!
So how can you help your clients gain awareness, understanding and take
action through poking them in the eye.
NB Of course I don't mean go and find a big stick and poke people in
the eye - (well you never know some people may take things literally!!)
About the Author
Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them
grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life. You can get my
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-02-22 17:56:45 in Business Articles