Well, what a contrast from my last meeting. Smiling like a long lost friend he rested his left hand on my shoulder as we shook hands. He reminded me of my childhood recollections of Father Christmas; jovial, friendly, inviting, trusting.
His office was more a den than a place of work with lots of personal items and pictures of his family. His overcoat lay slung over the back of his chair. I knew from the start I was probably dealing with a Warm / Asker.
Recognizing this, it was essential I became his friend before anything else. I needed to give him sufficient reasons to trust me personally with those things most precious to him: his family; his employees. People come first with a Warm / Asker and that means personal trust.
I remained relaxed and cordial; pulling out paperwork or raising an agenda this early would make him feel I was a machine. He would probably clam up and I would lose any relationship before it began. Oh, he’d never be so rude as to tell me to leave; he simply wouldn’t respond to any future contact from me.
OK, how do I behave with a Warm / Asker? I took things slow and deliberate drawing upon his experiences with his family, his staff and his business; all the people who are important to him. Though in truth, almost everyone is important to him; even me!
I mentioned we were meeting because a close personal friend of his trusted me to do the right thing for her. I explained that I really needed to take the time to get to know him as a person and how he feels about his family, his business and his friends; not just for now, but for the foreseeable future as our relationship grows.
Warm / Askers are not assertive. They can be oversensitive to people’s feelings expecting their own to be accommodated, too. Therefore, I must use gentle persuasion to encourage him to move forward rather than appear pushy. As he freely displays his emotions, I was prepared to accept even his sadness as he let me into his private life; a loved pet had recently died.
Warm / Asker’s are not decisive, preferring consensus to outright decision making. So, I expected more than a couple of meetings with him and probably involving those he felt needed to join in, too. This awareness is helpful because it allows me to prepare specific, simple solutions to each of his concerns and ‘chat’ through ways of resolving them ~ together.
I needed to allow for his social agenda, too. If he does business with me it will be because he likes me. And, if he likes me enough to seek my advice, I can expect invitations to family or business events and must be careful to attend as often as possible.
After twenty minutes of hearing about his world, I casually asked, “What is your attitude to ...?”