"The Relationship ends when you feel you can no longer influence each other".

Sometimes a random spark of wisdom can shake up your thinking is ways you hadn't imagined. Yesterday, we met with a high level professional strategy consultant to help us (the leaders in my company) hone in on where we should be focusing in the immediate future. We've had so many things happen, change, and grow in the recent year that it felt as though we've been drowning in options and opportunities - and yet finding it difficult to choose the right path. This is not a problem we've really had before. 

Our strategist, I'll call her Stephanie…because that's her name, met with us for the entire day and we worked through many pressing and important issues, dreams, goals, and obstacles. She was amazing. Ahh-maze-ing. Not only was her advice poignant and based on years of professional experience, but she listened to us just as much as she talked. She really heard us too. That felt really good and it instilled a level of confidence - in her, from us, that I've rarely felt in anyone. It hit me like a ton of sushi how vitally important active listening is to a relationship, business or personal. It really made me revisit my own listening skills to make sure I was being as effective as I could.

One of the many wise things she said was a paraphrase from an author who said something like "The relationship ends when either party feels they can no longer influence the other." Wow. That was soo affective to me. I thought back to relationships that I've "abandoned" or let fade away and indeed they followed that pattern. It gave me great clarity about a current business relationship I have that I've been struggling with as well - and it follows this pattern. I realized that my choices are to communicate this lack of influence and fix it - or move on. There may not be anyone at fault, it's just time to move on. No hard feelings. I think this is an effective way to identify when a relationship is in jeopardy and take steps to restore influence or be prepared to move on.

So, how can we listen better in our client meetings to install utmost confidence in them and assure the booking? Let's think about that in the next one and see what happens :-)

What if you talked 25% less today and listened 25% more? How would your relationships benefit? There's only one way to find out!