It is a while since you attended your skills workshop. The forgetting curve is pretty steep for most of us. So here are some tips to remind you:
- Contracting is not just for fun
It’ the way we start to control the conversation and position ourselves so we can behave as a joint problem-solving partner, not an ”order taker”. The client wants easy street: keeping the problem simple, hoping that you will take responsibility for it and avoid the cognitive effort of having to face up to their accountability. Watch out for “could you just”. Defuse their solutioneering by repeating the presenting problem. Use the chit-chat to “read” the client, use their words get into rapport, ask how long they have, check their expectations, ask permission to ask questions then start with a neutral open question to get them to open up; “who are we talking about?”. The first two minutes of the conversation are vital to setting the conditions for a successful meeting.