On his travel blog, Rick Steves once explained the ‘secret’ of the Oracles at Delphi, saying this:
Two thousand five hundred years ago, movers and shakers from throughout
the ancient world went to Delphi to get advice from the Delphi priests.
The priests weren’t in cahoots with the gods. They just interviewed
everyone who came to them, thinking that they were. Because of that,
the priests knew what the competition was up to (politically,
militarily and so on) and could give divine-quality advice.
I was reminded of this explanation the other day, when I realized that I often repeat conversations from client to client. Mr & Mrs Smith might be in my office today for help with, say, bedtime troubles. The suggestions I offer to them come from different sources: some I probably got from a book, some from a friend, maybe one I ‘invented’, and without a doubt a few came from previous clients. Then the next week the Smiths come back and tell me which ideas worked/didn’t work for them, and invariably they’ll tell me a new solution that they themselves invented, or heard from a friend, or read in a magazine… and I promptly add it to my trusty bag of tricks.
Anyway, I’m no oracle, and I don’t think my advice is divine quality (!!!) but I can surely identify with the strategy. I am constantly listening and learning and sharing what I learn.