Kids And Clients Kidz As Klientz : Parenthood and Transferable Skills
What equips you to love a client? The answer is as variegated and diverse as love itself. So, let's simplify a bit. So that there is shared language, I am going to take a stab at offering some insights into my definition of love. This may be at odds with other definitions, so it's necessary to communicate the particulars now.
Love Is An Action, Not an Emotion
For starters, I am going to talk about love is something you primarily DO to someone else, not primarily what you FEEL about someone else. Certainly, love is accompanied by feelings for the object in view, but this is only an accompaniment. The primary issue is act of the will; Love is an act of the will, accompanied by emotion, committed on behalf of the object in view, so as to elevate it's importance over and above the actor.
Parents are Saying: DUH.
The (beautiful) kids in the black and white image on this post are my wonderful spawn, brought into the world by their lovely mother and my wife Leigh Jourdain. (It really helps when your mother-in-law is an avid photographer, as talented as she is committed to capturing every moment. Woop,woop, shameless plug for my mom: Check out Vannessa Kauffmann's beautiful photography here). I have three children and one on the way. What does this have to do with loving clients? The concept is transferable skills.
A man doesn't have to have all the answers; children will teach him how to parent them, and in the process will teach him everything he needs to know about life.Frank Pittman
Transferable skills are the skills that we acquire that aid us not only in specialized fields, but skills that can be employed in diverse settings and contexts. An example may be the social skills involved in handling a conversation with an irate client. Having children has fostered more wisdom than nearly any other endeavor I've been allowed to engage in. Want to know how multi-task? Transition from one child to two. Better yet, transition from man-to-man (2) to zone defense (3). Desire to have greater stamina in the area of being resolved to work in spite of fatigue? BAM! Fatherhood baby.
While the benefits of raising children are innumerable, and go infinitely beyond the quantifiable, let's focus in on one area in particular: the ability to communicate clearly in teaching. Ignorance makes us vulnerable, and to the degree that we are ignorant in a particular area, we can metaphorically be seen as a child. Clients want to run their business well, and aren't particularly interested in the ins and outs of your specialized skill. While this is generally a good attitude to appropriate, it makes the client vulnerable. We need to do more than make them survive, or do the things. Even if you have no intention of deceiving your client, what is your bus ratio? If you're gone tomorrow, will your client be lucky in their next web-developer relationship?
Equip your clients to make wiser choices than they made yesterday in the realm of marketing their business on the web. As a matter of humility do so as if you will not be there tomorrow to make the decision for them. Like a parent, love is an action, not a feeling. Have the hard conversation with your client today, and maybe you protect them from getting fleeced tomorrow. Be more concerned with their ability to thrive with or without, than you are with their mere ability to survive in your presence. If you are interested in forming a partnership with Triple Helix, contact us today.