Project Daisy – Part 4: non-verbal communication challenges when meeting a client
I met with Daisy for the second and last time a few days ago. There is still work to do, but now I know exactly how to do it, and I expect the project to be finalised this week.
The meeting lasted almost two hours again, but otherwise went well. I explained what I have done and why, what can’t been done (one desired function is not an option in the shopping cart), and which solution I’ve made to achieve that function in a different way.
The agenda was to get feedback on all the web pages and the layout of the shopping cart, activate the shopping cart, and make a detailed list over desired adjustments to each web page so I can action them and finalise the job. I strove to time-manage the meeting professionally while also allowing the client to be human. Daisy is a good client: rational, reliable, to-the-point, and flexible. I felt professional, competent and in charge all the time and went from the meeting with good actionable notes and quick drawings so I know precisely what to do.
After the meeting, I rewrote my notes into a structured summary/to-do list for the final adjustments to-be-done, which I emailed to Daisy. It sums up what we discussed and agreed on, so that it is clear to Daisy what I think she wants me to do. That way she can correct me if I misunderstood anything.
The summary’s ‘Deliverables’ section with due dates serves as my to-do list for the adjustment work, and reminds Daisy about things she’ll need to action first. I think all that works well.
In the meanwhile, under the surface: non-verbal aspects of a meeting
This post is about the non-verbal aspects of communication in a business meeting. I will in a moment switch from the rational business track of the experience to the underlying non-verbal communications track to explain why I find it challenging.
Non-verbal aspects of communication include face expressions, eye contact, timing, silence, tone of voice, gestures, distance, posture, moves, clothing, and showing and demonstrating things, for example. Ambience* (space, smells, sounds, light… ‘vibe’) also impact and blend into communication; although it is not necessarily an actively controlled element of it.
Guides about non-verbal communication usually focus on how to ‘talk right’ with body language to please others. Continue reading