Skills for Successful Client Relationships: A 1-to-1 programme for an individual who was moving towards partnership in the firm.
I was asked to put together a 1-1 programme for an individual who was moving towards partnership in the firm. He needed to enhance his communication skills both towards clients and staff internally. Being such an expert in his field was starting to hinder client meetings, where too much technical detail was being discussed, and being framed in a negative way. In his mind he was building on his credibility by going into detail and nit picking through cases and yet in the client’s mind he was destroying the relationship by appearing negative and not thinking about how they were feeling.
Key benefits of 1-1 sessions:
- Most effective for long term learning and development
- Sessions are tailored to individual’s requirements
- Upcoming meetings/presentations were worked on during sessions
- Shorter periods away from his desk
This programme was the tipping point for his promotion. He discovered throughout the sessions what it was like to be on the other side of the meeting through objective feedback from me and seeing himself on camera.
Each session involved a balance of theory and practice. Using a video camera for the various practical exercises and presentations I gave him feedback and identified specific areas that needed more improvement. It also increased his self-awareness, pointing out behaviours he hadn’t noticed before.
Each session was 2 hours long and split a week to 10 days apart to give time to digest and put into practice what had been learnt between sessions.
My client acquired several key skills:
- An analysis of his communication style/self-awareness of personal manner
- Learnt how to communicate consistently with authority and credibility
- Be client focussed using positive communication
- Consistency, focus on key messages and time saving in preparation
- Handling/asking questions – techniques to maintain long term relationships
- Thinking on his feet whilst always focussing on requirements of the listener
The main result of this programme was the client became much more aware of himself, his behaviour and recognising what he had to do to build and maintain client and staff relationships.