A reflection from intern Rachel Heyman:
Not every person you encounter will agree with you about every opinion or idea. Each person has their own perspective and bias. After attending a recent client meeting with a non-profit organization, I found this is true even when working with clients. I learned that the value of seeking an outside perspective allows a client to rethink their preconceived ideas and become more open to looking at their business and their audiences differently. The focus of the recent client meeting was to determine how the client’s audience values the services they provide so that their marketing activities could be most effective. While the client had a vision for how they would wish to be perceived as a resource to their constituent, we asked a lot of questions, challenged their current positions and offered “good thinking.”
Through this experience I learned that asking exploratory questions was an effective way to understand what the client thought and explore other alternatives. As the director of the organization spoke to us about his persistent view of the value it provides, our team politely challenged him, and continued to ask him about other reasons that he did not initially think of. We were not content just to take his view because we knew it may be his only view, and that there may be more to consider. By the end of the meeting, he agreed that his opinions may not have accurately reflected what his audience really valued in the organization.
Have you ever been so persistent with a great idea that you overlooked any obstacles or other alternatives? Yes. We have all done that before. I now know that, sometimes, an outside perspective and thoughtful questions can help identify problems and considerations that were overlooked; to see the situation differently in order to find optimal solutions.