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The fourth and final agreement in The Four Agreements, the book by Don Miguel Ruiz that spells out four agreements you make with yourself that, if followed, have a profound effect upon how you live your life and the influence other people have on you is “If you have a question – ask.”

When I find myself thinking, “I wonder why he did that”, or, “What did she mean when she said that,” I’m reminded of this agreement. Most people prefer to be understood rather interpreted incorrectly. Some of the questions I’ve asked clients over the years when I didn’t feel comfortable are:

Are we aligned on our goals?

Do we have the same vision of what it looks like when it’s done?

Have I met (or exceeded) your expectations?

Have I done well enough that you will do business with me in the future?

If not, what can I do to make it right?

I’ve found that asking for clarification can be the trigger for a conversation that leads to a deeper understanding, and just as importantly, prevents misunderstandings.

As a business owner it’s essential you understand how your customer perceives the value of the product you’re providing. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn if you just ask.