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David Zinger

I appreciated your post on influence. We often lose sight of powerful approaches with all our over thinking about the world of work. Your post is a good reminder about never losing sight of what people need and want. I want another cup of coffee right now and will go promptly to the coffee pot.

Steve Roesler


In the spirit of the post, had I known you were ready for some coffee I would have phoned-up the Winnipeg Cafe and School of Auto Body Repair and had them deliver...

Shaun Kieran

My comment barely rises to being a “quibble,” since you’re obviously right, Steve. It’s just that so many “how to be a super salesperson” books and workshops also urge us to “solve” a customer’s “problem” by “asking” etc.

I’m beginning to see a lot of folks saturated with being “asked” what they need by people with very “concentrated minds” - trolling for customers in this shaky economy, leaning forward, listening to every syllable coming out of a potential customer.

But, again – having said that – it’s still true that people can tell if you’re listening and truly want to know what others think and need. Not only is it flattering, it breaks the “automatic listening” trance and activates more thoughtful, energized responses.

Plus it’s the only way solutions that are both creative and workable get found.



Steve Roesler


I think you are on to something and it happened to my wife and me yesterday. We were in a situation where the individual asked "process" questions ad infinitum with out any acknowledgment of our responses. Somewhere he learned that "asking questions" was a good technique. The problem was, it came off as a "technique" that ultimately led him to answer the questions himself. The result? We stopped being engaged.

What seems to have happened over the years is that the importance of questioning and listening at a meaningful level has been turned into "The 60-second Salesman" in order to market programs and techniques.

The underlying issue: When one only asks questions and offers no personal posture on an issue, the other person feels interrogated and suspects (rightfully so) that something is amiss and ingenuine.

This is becoming a thread on the importance of developing one's self for the purpose of "being real".


And then there's the people who have learned that when they don't like what you suggest, to say "that's a GOOD idea, but we're doing it this other way". I'd rather discuss what is good and bad about an idea than have it shoveled into a ditch with a phony pleasantry.

Steve Roesler


Ah, you have confronted the "I'll toss you an affirmative bone and you'll happily go away" weasel.

The follow up response: "Well if it's a GOOD idea, help me understand exactly why are we doing it the other way?"

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