I was having a coffee (ok, ok it was a beer) with a girlfriend recently, and she was talking through a few communication issues she was having with her other half. As much as I am there to support my friends, and clients, I can't help looking at things from different angles. One of my suggestions was "Well, if you had a similar problem with [insert client name here] what would you do differently?"
And she burst out laughing. And then realised I was serious. And had only had one beer. So I explained what I meant.
Isn’t it weird how we treat those we love most with the most contempt?
We give our bosses respect and we give clients, well, pretty much whatever they want (especially if we're working on a project by project basis!)
Now don’t mix this up and treat your client like a boyfriend – that is NOT the plan.
But consider this - if you wanted to talk to your client about something important, would you spring it on them as they walked in the door to your office, or were watching their favourite webinar?
If they were pis*ing you off, would you shout at them and storm off, or take a breath and calmly think of a different way forward?
If they wanted black and you wanted yellow, would you just do it anyway? No.
So all I’m saying is if you can act like that with a client for the sake of your job, surely you can bring some of that patience home for the sake of your relationship.
Figure out your values and make sure you're being true to them at work and at home. It will make the balance easier too I promise.
PS. Please don’t show this to my husband, I’m working out how to get the spare room redecorated!
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