Improving your consulting skills: pausing

Improving your consulting skills is a lifelong endeavor. Over the years, one of the most important things I’ve learned is the value of pausing during discussions with clients. If you do all the talking in a phone call or meeting, your client will never have the opportunity to give you more information or ask questions. As a consultant, your job is to help clients solve problems. If you don’t pause enough to let the client talk (or provide non-verbal cues), you’ll be making a lot of assumptions. It’s better to get as close to the client’s perspective as possible. So, try to listen more and talk less. Of course, if you’re an introvert, perhaps you’re already doing this. But, for people like me, it makes sense to hold back every once in a while.

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