Set an example. You will earn credibility among your peers. In my consulting business, I could not in good conscience teach my teams the importance of goal setting, for example, if I did not write my own goals. If you believe in something enough to teach or preach it, you should earn credibility by practicing what you’re teaching. The passion that comes through when you’re teaching a method you believe in and use, yourself, will be undeniable.
Listen without giving advice. I’m still working on this one! My first response is to help someone solve his/her problem by giving advice. What I have learned to be true is most people just need someone to listen. Recently, I had a business meeting with someone I had never met before, and while driving to the meeting, I began to get a bit nervous.
I have learned and taught that when you are at a loss for words, ask questions. So I began our meeting asking questions, and as it turned out; I spoke probably 5 percent of the time, and the other party spoke 95 percent of the time. After our meeting wrapped up, my colleague said enthusiastically, “I really enjoyed our conversation. I feel like you really understand our needs.” This meeting went on to land one of the largest consulting contracts I have signed to date.