“What do you want?” is a question that is easier asked than answered.
How often have you asked someone else what they wanted to only receive an answer of the type “do as you want”.
One reason for such an answer is that it is difficult to take a position, once we do, there is a possibility of making the wrong choice. One leading to an unexpected reaction.
Other reasons can be that we don’t know or can’t decide. It is difficult to decide when there is a large number of options to evaluate or a complicated set of options which are hard to compare. Imagining what we want can also be difficult as so many of the options already exist making it difficult to invent new ones.
The above is an explanation why questionnaires asking team members or customers often fail.
But it is no reason to give up on offering services or products others appreciate. Nor a reason to give up on building relationships.
Finding a solution is always linked to know and learn more about the other.
One way can be to know more about the relationship the other has with you as well as what his pain points are.
Another is to gain a better understanding of the needs and wants others have. Maslow once created a hierarchy of needs describing them, there is also the elements of value described by Eric Almquist, John Senior and Nicolas Bloch which describe needs and wants with their perceived value.
Once we’ve understood the needs and wants of others, we can also go a step further and think about the wants that exist as we build relationships. These are usually linked to the appreciation we look for from others. Using the Process Communication Model we can indicate six wants or appreciations others hope to receive from us when building the relationship. These are the wish to be liked as the person we are, the hope to see our ideas appreciated, the need to see our opinions valued, the confirmation needed to be welcome were we are, the idea to be accepted as we are and last but not least to see that we can make things happen.