Better Questions, Listening

Am I More Comfortable Now? (Issue 414)

In which we learn to not to assume that clients want to fix their problems. I married a nurse. I’ve developed a taste for stories that capture staff and patient life in hospitals. One of my favorites: Read more »

Knightly Tales (Issue 411)

In which we are encouraged to hear our clients stories as guidance toward the solutions they need and want. I could not stop myself. I had to tell my company’s story. Last Wednesday, I sat with Clarity’s Practice Manager, Maureen, at our conference table in the company of the very wonderful Susan, an expert in … Read more »


In which we are reminded, focus first on people and relationships before moving to task and business. “Don’t talk business until the spoon hits the ice cream.” This single, crisp sentence stands out from a six hour  seminar through which Somers White led me and other consultants … 25 years ago. Why, that’s … an … Read more »

Their Story

In which we learn the value of “putting people in their story” when selling. She was crisp, smart, blonde, and she left with a check. A  V E R Y  big check.  After she left, my wife looked at me and said, “I wasn’t planning to buy this morning, were you?” Read more »

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 »