Better Questions, Listening

We Just Assumed

In which we discuss the dangers of “just assuming” we know what our clients prefer. My son’s recovery from wisdom teeth removal included a “dry socket” which, for the uninitiated, translates as dull, throbbing pain at an extraction site accompanied by more than the usual swelling two to three days after the extraction.  Read more »

Ask First. Then Tell.

In which we remind ourselves that clients don’t always want our advice. A friend called a couple of weeks ago to check in. We hadn’t spoken for a while, so he asked, “What’s new with  Clarity?” I responded — business has been good, we have two new articles out, and we’ve just launched our refreshed … Read more »

Do You Know The Way?

In which we describe a simple technique which opens the door to differentiation and higher value added. I walk hills for fun and exercise.  Midway through Saturday’s walk, I could hear a car approaching me from the rear, slowing down… stopping…. rolling again…. stopping…coming closer… stopping.  Remembering Spiro Agnew’s observation that “Just because you’re paranoid … Read more »

122208 What Do You Like About…

In which we learn to ask a specific question to ensure the solutions we propose don’t draw out an immediate objection. In the midst of a spectacularly beautiful snow storm, I joined a Christmas party that included immediate neighbors. As I glided past a small gaggle of them to grab a grape, I overheard the … Read more »

111008 Lessons From Super-Learners

In which we’re reminded that our value comes from our ability to learn, synthesize, and put ideas together.   Our visit to our son’s college for Freshman Parents Weekend included reading an article, Secrets of the Super-Learners, from which: Read more »

Success Measures

….In which we remind ourselves to understand how our clients are measured so we can help them be successful. My children’s’ rooms are disheveled. This state has been an ongoing source of friction between the children and their mother who will, for days at a time, ignore the dishevelment and then, without any apparent triggering … Read more »

View from Inside

I received a prospecting phone call from a telephone service company last week. The guy made a solid “results” approach, offering to reduce our telephone costs 20% to 40%. While that sounded attractive, I told him we are locked into a contract with our phone company. He said, “OK, thanks” and terminated the call.  I … Read more »


On my way home from a city that shall remain nameless, I drove through the airport looking for access to the gas station from whose cool, subterranean tanks I needed fuel. I was feeling lucky. No traffic in front of me. Still time to fill the tank and make the plane.  Down the approach to … Read more »

Respect (Listening)

School’s out at last in Massachusetts.  On Saturday, I drove my newly graduated son for several hours to his job  in the White Mountains.   On the way there, while he unselfconsciously  dozed next to me in positions that only teenaged bodies can assume,  I listened to Chris Matthews’  book , Life’s A Campaign:  What Politics … Read more »

The Power of Observation

I think I was in the hall way somewhere between the “Dodos, Trilobites, and Meteroites” and the “Hall of Arthropods: Creatures that Rule” in the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge when I saw it. Read more »