What’s Changed? (Issue 853)

In which we are reminded to focus on “change” when we’re talking to our clients.

A week ago, the daytime high temperature was 75° and we were wearing summer shirts and shorts. Today, we’re starting the day at 23° and winds gusting to 20 mph, producing wind chills in the single digits. Literally, bone chilling. Our New England bodies are not yet adjusted to the colder temperatures.  On my way home from work yesterday, I felt my teeth chattering and found myself thinking, “I’m tired of the cold and I’m tired of the dark.”  Yes, my friends, and this is only the first week of November!

If we had been watching the weather forecasts through the week, we would’ve known the cold was coming and pulled out our heavy socks, gloves, and hats. However, the change is still a shock.

I’m reminded of Mike Tyson’s observation: “Everybody has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.”  Winter has punched us in the mouth and with that, we get to see the gaps in the plan.

In my case, the medium weight winter shoes I had been planning to buy all summer… Still haven’t purchased them. The replacement mittens for the ones I wore out, shoveling snow, last winter… Not on the shelf yet. Face protection – a balaclava. A good idea, it would’ve been useful as I was walking home last night, holding my gloved hands over my face because the wind was so sharp, thinking, seriously, the heretofor unthinkable: “Maybe it’s time to buy a place in Scottsdale.”

If you were, this morning, seeing me for the first time in a few weeks or months, you could ask two questions:

  • “What’s changed since I last saw you?” Notice, this is a little more specific than, “So, what’s new?” or “Hey, what’s been happening?”
  • “What has become clear to you, since then?” (Or, “What do you see now that you didn’t see before?”)

Conversationally, this might sound like:

  • Nick, what’s changed since I last saw you? It’s winter! 50 degrees colder today than it was last week.
  • What has become clear to you? “That I need to buy some clothing and that I might consider a winter home in Scottsdale.”

Now, whether we’re in a personal or business conversation, we have something juicy to work with!

Let’s see…. I think the Area Code for Scottsdale is 480…

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