Trying to Avoid Work (to Benefit Our Clients)

Sometimes we find ourselves doing things for our clients that they don’t actually need, but it’s what they told us they needed. When that happens, it means we didn’t stop for a second to work with them to truly understand their concerns. That’s one of our main reasons for being… figuring out what root cause(s) need to be addressed. Call us landscape whisperers.

Our expertise is to speak with clients and figure out what they actually need. This can certainly be challenging, as then we need to figure out communication styles and the best tools to enable us to listen effectively. Listening well requires figuring out the right questions to ask. This is also benefited by being equipped with a broad range of facilitation techniques.

Anyways… this post was based on a discussion in the office. We try to empower everyone to say, “Why are we doing this?” because sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves what the actual reasons are.

I used the following as an example of the way that we humans sometimes act:

  • I need to buy a new house.
    • Why?
  • I hate the house I have.
    • Ok… why?
  • It doesn’t work for me.
    • Why?
  • I love to cook?
    • What doesn’t work about cooking?
  • I hate the kitchen.
    • Why?
  • The counters suck.
    • Oh. Would it be better if we replaced the counters?
  • Yes.
    • Here’s a number for a counter guy. Great conversation!
  • Thanks!

We save effort by listening and working with clients to understand the actual concern, and the correct response it deserves. Maybe that’s a good definition for when someone is a professional in their field? They know the right tool to use at the right time, and how to use it properly.

When someone asks you for a phillips screw, don’t be afraid to ask a few questions and offer that perhaps their problem might better be served by a robertson screw. (a little Canadian content on screws there… if not just an obtuse reference loosely related to this post.)

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