What’s your agenda?

In our last blog post, on asking curious questions as a way to figure out what your potential client wants, we said, “Obviously, there are many different types of questions one can ask.  What type of questions are best in this conversation?  Enrollment questions are curious questions.  You may think all questions are curious questions.  They aren’t.  Often (especially in trying to sell something) we are not curious at all because we have an agenda – to sell – and we only ask questions to get to the result we are after.”

In any situation where you are asking questions, it is useful to ask yourself, “what is my agenda?”  This means, what is your aim, or the outcome you are seeking?

Often our agenda is to get our own way – make the sale, convince the secretary to arrive on time, get our spouse to agree to go out to dinner.  The agenda that will really serve you is to discover what is most important to the other person and help them get what they want.  This likely will include what you want – for example, that they buy your service or product.  The best way to get what you want is to have your agenda be a subset of their agenda.  Picture a large circle – this is the other person’s agenda.  Picture your agenda as smaller circle inside the larger circle.  Your agenda is important, but it must be a part of their agenda.  The only way you will find out if it is will be to ask a lot of very curious questions and find out clearly what their agenda is.

Post your examples here.

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

Get Our Newsletter
Recent Posts

Coach Highlight – Tim Stephenson

CM: Why did you enter TCE? And/or, what did you want to get out of it? TS: I entered TCE because I wanted to learn how to be with people the way my coach, Cami, was with me. I saw the power in that relationship...

Read More


I am reading the book Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength and Happiness by Rick Hanson (also the author of Buddha’s Brain). I found a section I wanted to share, because it articulated something so powerful to me in getting what...

Read More
Coach Highlight - MK Chavez

Coach Highlight – MK Chavez

CM: Why did you enter TCE? And/or, what did you want to get out of it? MK: I stepped into the TCE journey seeking the foundational skills of coaching because I had a transformative experience in coaching (as a client), and I wanted to bring...

Read More
Be committed, but not attached

Be committed, but not attached

A long time ago, I heard this quote that really messed with my brain. Though I cannot find the source of this exact quote, there are many similar Buddhist tenets. It has really helped me get what I want in my life, though! “Be committed,...

Read More

Share this Post