COMMUNICATING WITH CLIENTs

 

"The most important communication skills are the means by which we receive messages from others. The most effective and least – used communication tools are the ears. You can learn a lot by listening. " -  Writes David Greusel, AIA

 

The most common complain of clients is that their architect doesn’t listen to them and tries to impose his/her ideas. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. Better listening created better understanding. Better understanding creates better relationships. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness and business goals. Julian Treasure describes very precisely how listening is percieved by all of us and how we can make it better in his TED talk. 

 

Here are few guidelines to incorporate better listening habits in your life to improve your relationship with your clients: 

  • Have a humble attitude with your clients and listen to them carefully.

  • Express interest in what people are saying. And do it genuinely. 

  • Allow People to speak freely. Avoid interrupting. Good listening builds rapport and understanding with the speaker.

  • If the client is from a different culture or speaks a different language, do not take him for granted. Take assistance of an interpreter and understand him/her thoroughly.

  • Observe body languages and nonverbal communications. Understand more about body language here: TED Talk by Amy Cuddy

  • Try to keep an open mind. You will learn to see things from a different point of view.

  • Don’t get distracted in some other issues while the client is speaking. It’s an unprofessional behaviour.

  • Don’t trust your memory too much. Notes will help you to recall entire conversation.

  • Avoid offensive jokes or personal comments during presentation or throughout the relationship with your client.

  • Ask questions. Asking questions is a way to tell your client that you have listened carefully and you are interested in this topic and want to know more. 

 

“Listening broadens us, lays the groundwork for peace, elevates the quality of our relationships, and opens the way to success. If nothing else, when you listen, you'll find you are the most popular person in the room.”- Linda Eve Diamond

 

Next>> How to create an effective Design Brief?

 

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© 2014, Kiran Gandhi. All Rights Reserved.  

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The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Bansri Pandey.

© 2014, KIran Gandhi. All rights reserved. 

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