|Management of Measurement Constructs
Analytical Techniques July 31, 2010The Technique of the first Impression
--The one YOU make!--
Think of the first impression you had about each person you met/dealt with yesterday, this morning! Really; give it some detailed thought. --Be aware of the value judgments involved!
The day before yesterday, I was involved with three other people in a difficult situation: a City Construction Inspector was answering a complaint I have lodged against a house painter.
The inspector was the key figure. --My first impression as I met him in the driveway, shook his hand, and received his over-written, busy business card was that he was charmed with himself, his looks, good physical condition; that he was hiding a lack of skills behind an inspector's title; that he was someone delighted to be correcting others.
My astrology perception kicked in in a flash: probably a Moon-in-Taurus bureaucrat with a Libra Ascendant, with Saturn in play with his Venus; a twelfth House Virgo Sun?
--Now, all of that occurred in approximately 5 seconds. BUT it affected how I conducted myself for almost an hour! And how I feel about the inspector and the situation today!
As the inspector went on and on pedantically quoting municipal rulebooks, I kept telling myself silently over and over again: watch my body language, stay wide open, don't fidget, have patience, keep a smile in my eyes, listen without judgment, etc. After all, HE was taking in an impression of ME!
What does our client feel about us?
The client is nervous about the consultation, what to expect during it and thereafter. How do we astrologers set the secure atmosphere of respect, trust, and cooperation within 5-10 seconds?
Let's remember that so many wannabe astrologers --even those packed full of information-- feel/fear they won't be accepted or respected by the client! They feel they don't know enough to lead a meaningful conversation; they lack confidence, and they know that the intrusion of personal insecurity problems will show itself to the client.
Here are some tips to help with that situation; they are every bit as important as our store of analytical astrological techniques . they are the massage that allows the message to form.
Making the Appointment The potential client expects the astrologer to be specially informed, seasoned in life, and adept with conversation. --How do you score on this? What can you do to improve your profile here? [Please see pages 55-58: Noel Tyl's Guide to Astrological Consultation]
Location Coming to your home/office, your client will instantly be sizing things up for their comfort and security. I have to say the obvious: no cats, no dogs, no food or drink or smoking or chewing gum or music. --When present, these are undeniable distractions; they are crutches for feelings of inadequacy. Ask yourself as well: --How do you show your scope of learning around your desk, in your consultation area? Do you have something on display that is lovely, attractive, interesting, something for which your client can give you an ice-breaking compliment?
How about the lighting? [See page 59-61]
On the Phone When you are doing the consultation on the telephone (this is always very difficult) is it because of distance? Or is it to avoid the face-to-face contact with the client? --Whatever, your voice and word-choice must create the impression. Have you recorded one of your phone conversations and listened --really listened-- to yourself? How much of what you say is unimportant, meaningless, issuing from personal insecurities? Are you overwhelming your client with verbiage and extraneous ideas to prove you know a lot?
Appearance In person, what does your client see? Is your hair washed and combed neatly? Are your clothes neat? What about your fingernails?
Sound What about the sound of your voice? Does it have some music to it, a pleasant pitch and tempo? How fast or slow do you normally talk? Do you sound experienced? Confident? --Your mood of the day --how is perhaps getting in the way? And above all, is there a knowing warmth in your tone?
Getting Started Do you really know how to get started in conversation with the client? Really? --The "Guide" is very very helpful on this point.
The astrologer's extension of confidence and service to the client is fortified by knowledge of consultation structure, from preparation, through delivery, to high-focus conclusion.
The astrologer lets practicality and reality lead measurement projections and discussion. Suggestions are extended creatively, client defense mechanisms are managed skillfully, indecision is eased as much as possible.
As well, we stay above the Negative as we present polished insights from our client's life and development.
Helpful techniques for all this are found in the Archives of "Counseling Insights" on this website . and on pages 217-232 of the textbook introduced above.
---These are the keys to establishing a fine first impression and maintaining it throughout the consultation. We must think about the interaction with the client. That thinking pays off, and you build further and further with a cultivated secure image. Remember: To Prepare the Horoscope, you prepare your Mind. You must know you are making your best impression.
Next Update: August 31, 2010