Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group
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Washington, DC 20008
Wakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting GroupWakeman Consulting Group

Problem definition is an emotional thing

You are likely to run into a consistent challenge in an advisory role: ‘How do I get the client to see the challenge with fresh eyes or from my point of view?’

In my work, I’ve noticed three things that help me shift the perspective of my clients and get them thinking from a new direction:

  • Ask ‘What Would Have to Be True’: This question was created by Roger L. Martin and I’ve been using it as a way to help people see that the nature of their circumstances might have changed, but their thinking is still the same.
  • Look for the emotional trigger: A lot of times this means something like finding out what the impact is going to mean for the buyer personally. It could be about security, opportunity, or stress. Go there.
  • Get beyond the value judgments: This usually slows people up. They feel like every mistake is a value judgment. We’ve all made good decisions and bad ones. Making a mistake isn’t a value judgment it is a realization that you made the best decision you could in the moment and changing is a sign of growth.