How to Be a Thinking Partner2 min read
I have worked with clients for almost 39 years, and I have always done my best to help them.
Sometimes, I have felt like my efforts were not enough, but I have come to realize that I was often wrong about that.
It was more about how I approached different kinds of clients.
I’ve worked with clients who seemed committed to staying stuck and who always created barriers to their success.
And I’ve worked with others who made huge leaps forward, seized new opportunities, and experienced success after success.
Did I work with these clients differently? I think so.
For the ones who were struggling, I tried to help them.
I spent more time telling them what to do. And I bought into their belief that they were helpless.
With the ones who were succeeding I became a thinking partner.
We planned and strategized to overcome obstacles and move forward to achieving their goals.
My conclusion? Being a Thinking Partner is what works best.
As a thinking partner, you don’t tell clients what to do, but rather explore new possibilities with them and co-develop action plans.
But it does take some real skills.
Being a thinking partner requires a deep understanding of human behavior, psychology, and communication.
It means creating a collaborative and dynamic relationship with your clients, building trust and empathy, and being committed to their success.
By being a thinking partner, you empower your clients to tap into their own creativity and wisdom and guide them toward solutions that align with their values and goals.
The hardest part of being a thinking partner?
Letting go of control. You are not the boss of your clients!
And if a client is looking for a boss, maybe you’re not the best one to help them.
To be a better thinking partner I suggest trying these things:
1. Listen actively to your clients, ask open-ended questions, and seek to understand their perspective
2. Practice empathy and strive to see the world through your clients’ eyes.
3. Foster a safe and trusting environment where your clients feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
4. Collaborate with your clients to co-create action plans that are tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.
5. Continuously improve your knowledge and skills in areas such as communication, psychology, and problem-solving.
6. Be committed to your clients’ success and hold them accountable for taking action towards their goals.
So, commit to being a real thinking partner. It takes off a lot of the pressure because you don’t need to have all the solutions
What a relief!