At Champion Ballroom in San Diego, I learned a simple, elegant answer to the following question about dancing with a lady.
Q: Assuming you're the dance lead, how do you get your partner to take a step with a specific foot?
A: Shift your weight to your other foot then take a step forward.
I've also learned that good leads:
- Are nearly invisible to anyone watching by making their dance partners look good.
- Make their partners feel safe and comfortable. Leads paradoxically dance their best but at their partner's ability.
- Always seem to have someone to dance with.
The advice metaphorically applies to my life in IT consulting.
Q: Assuming you have a role as a consultant, how do you get your client to consider a specific action or take the next steps?
A: Help your client feel safe, comfortable, and secure by shifting a little focus on what's holding them back. Then take a step forward... together.
Anyone watching may not see the difference, but your client may appreciate and trust this type of guided direction. Trust in technical consulting seems to be as important as trust in the dance world.
May you always have someone to dance with.
Btw, I understand the consultant-client relationship aint always a waltz. ;-)