“We need to remember to listen as much as we talk, especially if we are in a place where we might have a little bit more power than other people, and to talk as much as we listen, especially if we have less power than the people around us.”
It was also suggested it could be a guiding principle for every meeting. I agree.
What struck me though was the drawing of attention to power in relationships. We know that exists, but don’t often talk about it. Perhaps that’s a mistake.
Here is a list of power sources from the French and Raven’s bases of power.
Information – who holds the key pieces of data?
Expertise – who has valuable know-how or insight?
Referent – who has skills to inspire and influence? (For sales these are often the decision influencers).
Coercive – who can threaten to punish?
Reward – who can give or hold back something that’s valued.
Legitimate – who has a formal position in the organisational hierarchy? (For sales these are often the decision maker).
Now think of a specific client relationship. Consider the power you have. Consider the power the client has. What insight does that give you about better handling the relationship?
That’s the mini-mission.