Our Clients Have a Story to Share
Clients come to us to solve their problems. Thus, they have their story to share. As I listen to my clients, I try to put myself in their shoes, to know their problems through their eyes, and to understand their pain points so I can work with them to find a long-term solution. In doing this, I have found some interesting things I try to keep in mind.
Emotional Intelligence In Practice
- The key is to listen to what they have to say, focusing in on their perception of the story they are sharing:
- Don’t interject.
- Don’t try to solve their problems now. Just listen.
- Let them know you want to understand their situation, and express your desire to comprehend their current circumstances or need.
- Ask questions to confirm you understand their requirements and your role in their story.
- This simple act lets clients know their message has been heeded, and their needs and emotions understood.
- When communicating their message back to them, try to explain in a way that communicates achievable solutions.
- Tell their story back to them, presenting it in a somewhat different way (i.e. not in a rote manner), so that they can be assured their message was heard.
All of the above steps ensure that as we, their business partners, guide them through the details of their project, our empathy can turn a frustrating set of circumstances into a positive experience.
Practice Makes “Good Enough” Is Not Enough
If you find that this type of interaction does not come easily to you, there are ways to make this process easier. Changing a behavior takes a significant amount of practice, rather than just day-to-day repetition to implement the change. You need to monitor yourself, your actions, and evaluate the steps to be put in place, in order to make a positive, significant improvement in your use of empathy in the business realm.
Improve Your Ability To Connect
Since forging a connection with others can be extremely rewarding on a personal level, and is a helpful life skill to have in any situation, it’s worth it to try to improve it in general. Bear in mind that to really have empathy for others, you must show the appropriate emotional response to those around you:
- Empathy is being there for others – i.e. being present and in the moment.
- How to do that: be aware of what the person is thinking, and how they are feeling, rather than applying your own judgments.
- Be responsible for your perspective of their story; your goal is to understand how they feel, not how their story makes you feel.
- Facilitate discussions to gain an understanding of “their story.” Don’t try to solve everything right away. Rather, taking the time to understand will help you formulate your response and plan of action.
Empathy should drive a deeper connection between you and those around you. Simple acts of kindness, such as lending an ear to someone or even doing a quick favor because they need help, can have a significant impact. Don’t let your lack of empathy generate contention; begin practicing empathy as part of your daily interactions.
Originally posted on SharpHeels.com