- Assume you will be interviewing someone who probably will start out not wanting anything you might have to offer.
- Assume the client has good reason to think and act as he or she does.
- Suspend your judgment and agree with the client´s perceptions that stand behind his or her cautious, protective posture.
- Listen for who and what are important to the client, including when the client is angry and critical.
- When clients are openly angry or critical, ask what the offending person or agency could have done differently to be more useful to the client.
- Be sure to ask for the client´s perception of what is in his or her best interest; that is, ask for what the client might want.
- Listen for and reflect the client's use of language.
- Bring the client's context into the interview by asking relationship questions [cv: questions like: "What would it take for her to let you come home again?" and "What would it take for your manager to know that you won't need to come here anymore?"]
- Respectfully provide information about any nonnegotioable requirements and immediately ask for the client's perceptions about these. Always stay not knowing.
February 10, 2012
Tips for interviewing involuntary clients
Interviewing for solutions, Peter de Jong and Insoo Kim Berg (photo) offer the following tips: