Values are what a person or a company holds dear. They are the reason you get out of bed in the morning, and they are the compass that points you in the right direction.
At Client Talk, our values are present in everything we do. We believe that without them, we can neither deliver the best service to our clients, nor can we have enduring relationships, be that with our clients, our consultants, or our wider network.
· We promote active listening
· We leverage empathy
· We encourage diverse thinking
Central to our values is active listening, a skill that is universally recognised as being fundamental to communication. What it means to actively listen is something that people rarely spend time reflecting on.
We know when someone is not listening. We know how it feels when what we are trying to communicate is lost on a recipient who seems more intend on telling us how they feel or what they need.
Miscommunication and failure to listen are almost always to blame where relationships fail. At Client Talk we strongly believe that active listening is a skill we should all seek to improve. However, for us active listening is about so many things. It is why it is a value, not just a skill in our tool kit.
Listening is about judgement and respect. It is about silence. It is about being open to hear and understand what is being said. It is about being present. We believe this shouldn’t just be something that happens in coaching, or in a client listening exercise, it should be promoted in all our interactions with people. It is human-centered and it is way of being.
“How arrogant to believe that what I am about to say is more important than what you are about to think”.
NANCY KLINE, creator and pioneer of The Thinking Environment
On the surface empathy can be as simple as the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes. However, at a deeper level, empathy is not just about understanding the point of view of another, it is about feeling alongside them, and it is about understanding what they need. It drives action. Compassion.
We value empathy at Client Talk because it leads to deeper listening, which leads to deeper questioning. We believe that a deep subjective understanding of the person in front of you is essential and is something which can only come with patience and careful listening.
Empathy is something that is often ignored in professional services firms. Perhaps it is seen as too fluffy, or as not having ‘teeth’? However, we have witnessed the power of leveraging empathy within firms and have seen improved cultures and stronger, more enduring relationships with clients as a result.
For us, it is the only way we want to do business.
“Success is no longer just about talent, or knowledge or skill. Today it is also about freeing ourselves from the blinkers and blind spots that beset us all and harnessing a critical new ingredient: cognitive diversity.”
MATTHEW SYED, Rebel Ideas
At Client Talk we work to promote the benefits of diverse thinking across all that we do. We actively seek views and perspectives that differ from our own and we always encourage our clients and our colleagues to bring different voices in the room.
Cognitive diversity is an important ingredient for success for professional services firms. However, for us it has another role, and it is why it is one of our core values. Diverse thinking helps us to challenge what ‘good’ looks like. By challenging the ‘way it’s always been’ and inviting differing perspectives we can only make our teams stronger.
We believe in diversity in all forms. Yes, it drives success, but more than that, by embracing our differences, we learn more about ourselves and each other, we grow stronger. Together.