Truth, lies, and unicorns revisited: how to speak honestly in business

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships, Trusted advisorship November 20, 2007

This is our last post (for now) on the subject of lying in professional services (click here to read our first blog posting on the topic). Today’s blog offers a socially acceptable way to put hard truths on the table. It’s called “Name It and Claim It” and it starts with a caveat and ends with telling it like it is.

Caveats are forewarnings that compensate for what we are about to say. An example might be, “I wish I had better news …” Acknowledging the sometimes harsh truths that follow, we rob them of their power.

Truth, lies, and unicorns revisited: why all business advisors lie

Andrea Howe
Category : Trusted advisorship November 15, 2007

Continuing our conversation on the pervasiveness of lying in professional services (click here to read our first blog posting on the topic), today’s blog explores why business advisors, when weighing the two options of telling the truth and telling a lie, often choose to lie. Yes, that’s correct, we lie even in cases where an objective analysis would suggest that truth-telling would benefit us more.

Truth, lies, and unicorns revisited: the pervasiveness of lying in professional services

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships, Trusted advisorship November 6, 2007

I am continually struck by how often I confront my own tendency to lie with clients. Yes, I said lie. Think you’re squeaky clean? Hmmmm … I’m not so sure. Try out our five-point checklist to gauge the depth of your own trustworthiness.

In the article that Charles H. Green and I co-authored in early 2007, we asserted that business advisors (or for that matter, people) who don’t lie are like unicorns: not inconceivable, but pretty unlikely. I am no exception. I bet the same is true for you.

Consulting made funny?

Andrea Howe
Category : Consulting, Improvisation November 1, 2007

“Think improv comedy is just for laughs? Think again. It’s fertile training ground for dealing with the unexpected – you know, like in a sales conversation, when a client asks a zinger that you never saw coming. I discovered the magic of improv comedy a few years ago when I decided it was time to learn how to get past the “frozen-ness” I felt when something like that happened to me.

High impact client presentations – tip #5 of 5

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 30, 2007

Today’s blog offers the fifth of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

High impact client presentations – tip #4 of 5

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 25, 2007

Today’s blog offers the fourth of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

High impact client presentations – tip #3 of 5

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 23, 2007

Today’s blog offers the third of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

High impact client presentations – tip #2 of 5

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 18, 2007

Today’s blog offers the second of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

High impact client presentations – tip #1 of 5

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 16, 2007

Not too long ago I got to watch another consulting team give a sales pitch to my clients. Sadly, the consulting team missed a major opportunity to build rapport with their prospects and get into their world. Why? Because all they did was talk. Today’s blog offers the first of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

The ROI of business friendships

Andrea Howe
Category : Client relationships October 11, 2007

We were recently featured on Karen Salmansohn’s SIRIUS radio show, BE HAPPY DAMMIT (LIME Channel 114). Karen publishes a “Be Happy Dammit Tips” Newsletter. Her April 27 issue quotes some fascinating statistics about the value of business friendships. For example:

– People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work.


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