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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 current clients.

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 rewarding.

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
1. Awareness
2. Understanding
3. Action

Awareness

* 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 to date

Understanding

* 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

Action

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 have.

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 Free Ecourse Discover the 5 Most Common Incorrect Assumptions Independent Business Consultants Make and a complimentary subscription to Quickstart, the newsletter specifically for consultants. Go to One Step Further for more instantly accessible resources. Your future Your choice!


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-02-22 17:56:45 in Business Articles

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