On the Same Side of the Table

 Embracing the Unknowns & Asking the Right Questions

We know our clients want answers. That’s why they come to us. It’s also why we start all our engagements with questions.

Open-ended and targeted questions help us better determine what assumptions and biases our clients have about their business or path. We can also quickly glean what is a symptom versus what was the core issue at the heart of a business strategy.

Much of our questioning is rooted in something known as the Socratic method. While it sounds academic, at its core is a fundamental element of human relationships: asking questions. Continual Q&A helps fuel critical thinking and big ideas. Not only do we get a better understanding of the landscape, goals and deliverables needed to achieve them, but that spark of creativity that comes from questioning means the work we do together is the best we can do.

We ask so we can listen. We deliberately nurture and embrace strong listening skills as a core competency for our team. In part, this is because we believe that people need and deserve to feel heard and understood in a world where we’re often broadcasting at one another versus communicating with one another. And, strategically, we know a more collegial, conversational fashion of discovery yields more valuable information than a traditional discovery format, which let’s be honest, can sometimes feel like a cross examination.

We’re turning the tables on that process. Or, really, we sit on the same side of the table as our client with our approach. The more traditional approach feels like people sit on opposite sides of the table and on different teams.

We sit on the same side of the table as our client.

Beyond sitting together, we practice what we preach—an inquiry based approach that delights our curious and open minds while simultaneously providing a broader, more comprehensive picture of our clients’ current situation and the road to success.

The thing about questions, though, is that sometimes our clients don’t know all the answers. As we go, we ask the questions that reveal the knowns and unknowns. There’s a strength to acknowledging that we don’t know something and that there’s an openness to change.

We work from that non-judgemental space of embracing the room for growth when we tell someone what they don’t know. We all do our best work by practicing what we’re already excelling at and learning to develop in other areas. That growth mindset is also at the heart of our work. It’s not failure if you miss something or don’t know something, it’s an incredible opportunity for growth. It’s also one of the major points of differentiation for our model and business approach.

With a non-judgmental perspective, we can better guide clients to a clear path forward, identifying the necessary steps to close any perceived gaps between where they are now and where they want to be in future. We find the unknowns, working together, so we can discover which are challenges to address or opportunities to capitalize on. When we’re all on the same side of the table, illuminating the unknowns is good for everyone.

At Sixense Strategy, we love to help executives and entrepreneurs with a vision of what success looks like to them. If you know what you want and are ready to take the steps needed to get it or if you know there are unknowns (or think there might be), we are an objective and strategic thinking partner to confide in. So, let’s get on the same side of the table.

We offer a free 30-minute consultation to see how you can benefit from our strategy, coaching, and startup advisory services. Simply email parissa@sixensestrategy.com or call 312.208.7329. We look forward to hearing from you.

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