Discovery Guarantees Attention
To perform Discovery I must take a questioning stance, especially at the beginning of the Do phase in the Encounter Process. This means that I will tend towards asking clients questions rather than explaining things to them. The great advantage of taking such a stance is that it is guaranteed to hold the clients’ attention.
This is because people are much more attentive when being asked questions than they are when being talked at. In school, it was easy to stop listening and gaze out of the window when the maths teacher droned on at the front of the class. When they directed a killer question at me, however, it was a different story.
And so taking a Discovery approach helps grab and retain clients’ attention. From this point, it is a small step to influencing the their view of a situation and, hence, moving their opinion in the ‘right’ direction (we will discuss the difference between influence and manipulation in association with the TABLE tool).
Further, if I listen carefully to my clients, showing genuine interest in what they say, then they will be more open to my arguments and more likely to accept my recommendations. This is a question of confidence. Clients have many challenges to deal with, and their confidence in my ability to help them will strongly depend on how well they think I have understood their situation. By listening actively to my clients, I can demonstrate the necessary level of understanding.