You can’t tell people

A former colleague and friend of mine gave me a phrase a few years ago that I find I use all of the time.

I was speaking to her about a situation with a client in which I’d recommended one course of action and they took a different path. Now they were in trouble and I was saying what a shame it was that they hadn’t taken my advice. She said, “You know, after a while being right loses its impact.”

I realized then – and continue to realize every day – that you can’t tell people anything. You can only ever create the conditions under which they discover things for themselves. This is how we all really learn.

So ask questions, listen, challenge, seek to understand – all while keeping your objective in mind – and create the situation in which the client can make the right choice. Just don’t bother telling them. They won’t really get it unless they get to it themselves.


5 thoughts on “You can’t tell people

  1. William Melillo

    Savana, I won’t tell hehehehe

    Something got wrong with this email…

    How have you been? Let’s get together for a coffee or lunch.



  2. Syed - GoSafr

    Hi Savanah,

    It was really nice speaking with you yesterday. Please find attached our deck and lets talk again sometime next week at your convenience.


    Syed Gilani CEO Safr p: 857-415-2079 m: 617-952-3333 a: Suite 1950, 101 Arch St, Boston MA, 02110 w: e:



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