Stage 2 – The Power Of The Pause

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How Often Do You Listen To Your Clients?

Last week, I had an increadible experience at a client: the client is preparing to implement SAP S/4HANA and has numerouse projects in parallel. New projects are launched. There is change everywhere and it is not clear yet, when this SAP transformation will be kicked-off (where I am the designated project manager).

For the preparation of this day, we had several calls with changing priorities every time. So I had not prepared an agenda or a powerpoint (a very typical management consulting approach). My perception was “I am unprepared”. My mindset was “let’s see”.

Asking Why – 7 Times

My client, the CIO, started to explain the situation. I listend and asked a view questions “why?”, “why not?”, “I don’t understand”, “couldn’t we do xyz?”. But predominantly the CIO did the talking and the whiteboard writing.

After one hour we had a solution to an problem he was worring about for almost 2 months. The compliment I received was the most amazing one in my whole career.

What were the key success factors?

I think, it was the listening, saying nothing and allowing space to create (to think) – as well as asking “why”. Asking “why 7 times” will get you to the truth (watch this video: Ask why 7 times and then you will know the truth. With John Kuypers) .

My personal “aha” moment was at the call with my husband: I had to tell him about the compliment – even though I was not prepared. He answered: “This is not true. The last 20 years prepared you for this moment.” Well, I love the growth and development opportunities I have ahead of me.Created with

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