I’m constantly reminded how much more satisfying it is to consult with clients who truly value the counsel they are provided, versus those who struggle to trust that their best interest is the only thing that matters in the relationship.

Well, duh! Of course, it’s more satisfying to be appreciated and have great chemistry in such a business relationship. Anyone providing expert service, like the executive search work that I do, would much rather serve clients who listen and want to learn, versus those who easily become defensive or take offense when suggestions are made that might challenge them to change their thinking.

Here’s a potentially valuable observation about these situations: not only are the “good” client relationships more satisfying, they also make a consultant better at what they do – when we don’t have to fear an adverse reaction to our counsel, our clients allow us to provide our very best because we can more completely speak our truth. The client gets more if they are open and willing to grow, and therein lies the true value of a working consultative relationship.

I see a fascinating parallel between the consultant/client relationship and just about every other relationship in our lives. We all want similar things in each of the meaningful relationships in our lives including family, friends, colleagues, collaborators and those who serve us, in addition to those we serve. In every such relationship, we all enjoy being heard and having our opinions considered, we prefer being with people who are ready to learn and grow versus those who are afraid of change, and we value relationships of mutual trust and respect. When our relationships are this good, we can’t help but be the best version of ourselves.

However, we can’t just think about what we need from other people. Perhaps it would be helpful for each of us to be sure we are offering others the same things we seek – that seems like a healthy way to live.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.

If you would like to read previous Relationship Stories, please visit: Jeff Black Blog

Also, click on the logo for a quick summary of our unique fit-focused executive search practice and how we might help your company or others that you know, and view our Video on Talent FIT (2 min.) or click on MB Search – J. Black Bio.