With the birth of our first baby, we hired a yuesao for 40 days. A yuesao is somebody staying at home and helping parents with an infant. Our experience didn’t go well – but that taught me a life lesson: the difference between “Learning From” VS “Delegating to.”
The reason to hire her was to help us transition into parenthood. We thought that she’d train us on taking care of our baby: how to change diapers, feed her properly, get her to develop well. We wanted to learn from her experience. That didn’t happen.
The yuesao arrived home and proceeded with taking care of the baby all by herself. She assumed that we had delegated to her the first weeks of our daughter’s life. No matter the frequency of our interventions to have her stop, she’d find ways to do her assumed role.
To break the situation, we had to rely on other sources of learning. My parents flying to Shanghai empowered us with methods and technics that the yuesao never bothered sharing. She got herself stuck in the role, and incapable of adapting, we eventually let her go.
Understanding expectations from the client is critical. Caught off guard, we might own the transformation rather than transfer knowledge and experience.
Don’t make the mistake of switching “Learning From” to “Delegating to” expectations.
At the first encounter with a prospect, we need to ask precise questions to clarify the environment in which they want to operate. They might not be aware of their situation. As the service provider, we need to help them identify where/how our value proposition will impact them. Listen attentively to your prospect as they reply to:
- “Why are we meeting?”
- “Why are we meeting today?”
- “What does success look like?”
- “How am I going to be measured?”
By paying attention to the answer and listening with intent, you won’t make the mistake of switching “Learning from” and “Delegating to.”