Friday, July 16, 2010

"The best advice my mother never gave me"

As part of our learning ETHOS at Stinson Brand Innovation, Nancy Burgess recently reviewed a favorite book and shares her insights in today’s blog.

Business books abound. Some are dry and filled with theory; others aren’t based on facts at all.

For me, one stands out: David Maister’s The Trusted Advisor. If you’ve ever wanted to persuade anyone of anything, you must read this book. If I could read only 1 business book in my life, this would be it. It’s an excellent manual for managing business relationships successfully. If you’re an account manager, this should be your guidebook and constant companion.

I’ve found it invaluable in giving advice to my young adult children who are well past the commanding “we’re-leaving-put-on-your-shoes-and-get-in-the-car” phase and entering the “should-I-sign-this-apartment-lease” phase. It’s helped me to respectfully offer the wisdom of my experience, while ultimately acknowledging that their decisions are theirs alone.

Maister describes how to establish trust, give advice, and build relationships. He explains the 4 elements that engender trust: credibility, reliability, intimacy, and a low level of self-orientation. He illustrates the 5-step process for trust-building. He offers pointers for becoming better listeners and taking responsibility. He also provides insights for working with different client types. All this and more in an easy-to-read format. Only wish I knew this 20 years ago!

No comments: