Listen so that others speak. Speak so others listen. That seems so simple doesn’t it? But in reality we tend to get a bit carried away with our know-how. We end up speaking – too much. And explaining, not engaging.
As an antidote, here’s a structure and list of 10 questions to remind you how to remain quiet, and encourage your clients to speak.
Here’s the process:
- Choose a question to ask, and ask it:
- What do you make of this situation?
- Where do you feel the biggest improvements can be made?
- What would you like to achieve?
- When do you think that’s possible?
- What’s important about this?
- Where does it fit in the company’s bigger agenda ?
- Who else in the company benefits from this? How?
- What the best result you’d expect from a project?
- And what’s the worst thing that could happen if you do nothing?
- How do you see external support being useful?
- Lean in and listen without judgement.
- If necessary go deeper. “Please tell me more about that.”
- Verbally and non-verbally confirm you’ve understood, or ask for clarification.
- Jot down notes.
- Don’t interrogate, enjoy the engagement.
- Choose your next question. Rinse and repeat.
This article is the first of a three part series for better client engagement. Part two is about strategies for speaking, so that clients listen. And part three introduces a mini-mission for developing new client engagement habits.