COACHING TIPS AND INSIGHTS
Also see the FREE Flipboard Magazine COACHING COSMOS
10 Easy Questions to Get a Talkative Client to the Point!
I’m sure every one of us has had (or has!) a client who likes to tell stories and go into great detail about what happened to whom, when, where, how.
It could be the drama that attracts them. Perhaps they want to distract you (or themselves) from a difficult issue. They could also be a sequential thinker or a ‘detail-oriented’ person.
There are plenty of reasons WHY some people just like to talk, but in this post we’re going to look at specific things you can ASK or SAY to get them to the point – fast!
So, take a deep breath and say firmly, “I’m going to interrupt you here…” and then try:
1.So, tell me what finally happens.
2.In a nutshell, what’s the issue/goal here?
3.So, what would you like to handle first/now?
4.Can you give me your goal/issue in one sentence?
5.If you were to take a helicopter view, what do you need me to know?
6.May we take a quick time out. How does this relate to the goal/issue you want to work on?
7.So, how did that make you feel? (great for the ‘avoiders’)
8.I’m looking for the storyteller here and not the story – what are the key points that you need to tell me?
9.If you could sum the situation up in one word or phrase, what would that be?
Lastly, use ONLY with caution and good rapport: “Do you want to spend time talking about your problems or get things sorted?”
The Trick: You need to be firm and confident. By all means try a ‘soft’ interruption first, but if this doesn’t work take a deep breath and – if necessary – cut right across them. With some clients this is the only thing that will work. Remember, they are paying you to help them move forwards.
Watch out for:Sometimes a story contains essential elements that the client needs to be coached around. Or perhaps your client needs to feel heard and have a safe place to ‘vent’ and explore how they feel. Or they may simply be a person who likes detail or to work through their thoughts sequentially. You’ll need to use your coaching skills and trust your gut – which of course gets easier with practice and experience!
Free Flipboard Magazine PHILOSOPHY
8 TRUTHS ABOUT PEOPLE
- Most people mean well. While there are probably some truly evil people in the world, most people have their hearts in the right place. They honestly believe they are trying to do the best they can with the resources they’ve got.
Therefore, assume good intentions, and others will be drawn to you and want to work for you.
- People think in stories.Ever since first humans sat around the first campfire, they’ve been enthralled by stories because stories give meaning to events and facts that otherwise would seem random.
Therefore, weave facts into a narrative in order to attract and hold more customers, employees and investors.
- People decide emotionally then justify intellectually.Very few people make decisionsby first assessing the facts and then coming to a decision. Most people decide from the gut and then find reasons why that was a good decision.
Therefore, when you’re seeking a decision, only present facts that will elicit an emotional reaction but which then hold up to scrutiny.
- People need to be heard.Being unable to speak, or to speak and have nobody listen, is the very definition of powerlessness. If you don’t listen, the relationship is dead. And if you muzzle somebody, they’ll detest you forever.
Therefore, bosses must fairly hear employees out and salespeople must listen more than they talk.
- People crave strong relationships.With the exception of a few truly crazy folk, what everybody wants more than anything else is to have a deep and lasting connection with other human beings.
Therefore, every wildly successful product or service ultimately has brought people closer together in some way.
- People avoid pain first and only then seek pleasure. The human brain is hardwired to survive, which in prehistoric times meant staying as far away from pain as possible. Only when secure from pain do people ponder what will make them happy.
Therefore, in business situations, a “reduce your costs” message usually trumps a “grow your business” message.
- People haven’t changed much. Millennials insist that their generation is new and different. New, yes, but different, not so much. Trust me, every claim made about millennials today was once heaped on previous generations.
Therefore, value both the enthusiasm of youth and the experience of age, because both are stronger and more useful when combined.
- People want to leave a legacy.Whether it’s a successful business, a book of wisdom, or even just your children, everybody wants the slice of immortality that comes from truly making a difference.
Therefore, think hard how you spend the hours of your day because you’re creating that legacy, here and now.