Here's a personal list of the top things I try to remind myself before having a conversation with consulting clients and prospects.
Some of them are quotes I heard or casually came across, some are my own. Apologize in advance if you're the one who came up with any of these.
- You don't have to prove yourself every 10 seconds.
- You have a right to be in this room - don't be insecure.
- Ignore what others may be thinking of you, because they aren’t.
- Shut up and repeat again and again: "Really? And then what happened?"
- Also, ask again and again "What's behind that?"
- Be curious to ask without supposing an answer. Knowing how to solve a problem is irrelevant, if you don't which problem you are trying to solve.
- Pause when needed: "I may be a little slow here. Maybe it's just me, but..."
- Emotions > Logic: "How does it make you feel?"
- More value is added through problem definition than problem answer.
- Ask yourself: Have I earned the right yet to give an answer?
- Ask yourself: Am I trying to win an argument? Turn it back to a conversation.
- Just because a question is asked does not mean that's the right question to answer.
- Don't blame anyone for anything ever.
- Is your stomach telling you something's off? It's probably right. Talk about it.
- Know your worth. You must find the courage to leave the table if respect is no longer being served.
If you have any personal quote or principle you'd add to the list, send it over.