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There is No Room For Emotions In Professionalism

There is No Room For Emotions In Professionalism

It is never fun to take ownership of a mistake. It’s especially not fun if we feel it was not our fault in the first place. For instance, a client might bitch about something you did and you didn’t even have access to the right information to get it right in the first place.

It’s easy to spout off, “It’s not my fault.” No one enjoys working with someone that is constantly making excuses though. It may not be your fault but you don’t want to come off as defensive and insecure!

We are in a service-based business. This means we serve our clients. They are the boss. Now, I’ll be the first one to speak up and say you shouldn’t take shit from a client. You should set clear boundaries and a good client will respect those.

What I’m talking about is the ability to put our pride to the side and not be defensive when a client bitches about something. I know it can sting a bit when you’ve poured your heart and soul into a project and a client rips it apart. It adds to that feeling when one of the things they mention has been spoken about already.

Take A Deep Breath

Let’s say you receive an email from a client and they have a list of revisions or are “bitching” about a few things. The best advice I can give is to wait before you respond. Give it 15 minutes or so, then write out your response. Don’t send it yet. Give it another 15 minutes and re-read it. Did you come off as defensive?

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. How did what you read just make you feel? Revise it until it is nothing but professional. You are a professional and it is extremely important you always come across that way!

Let’s Look at an Example

Let’s take a look at a few examples. Let’s say you are tasked with taking content from an old website and adding it to their new website. You are going through and copy/pasting the content.

The client hits you with a “You have a misspelling on this article.” It is easy to respond with something like, “I didn’t misspell anything. That was like that. I copied it exactly how it was. It isn’t my fault.”

Of course, it is true. It isn’t your fault. The misspelling was there all along. But, the client hired you, the professional, to transfer the content over. Even though editing wasn’t part of the job description, and it isn’t really your fault the misspelling is there, own that shit. Show them just how professional you are!

A Better Response

I’d respond with something like, “Oh, great catch! I was copying and pasting directly from the old site and trying to kind of proofread things along the way just to be sure but must have missed that. I’ll take care of it right away. Hopefully I caught all the others but if you notice any more, don’t hesitate to bring it to my attention!”

See how that sounds much better? You let them know it was there already and it wasn’t your fault exactly but you are a professional and you will get it taken care of.

Most of the time in an example like this, the client isn’t trying to be an asshole. They just noticed a problem so they are telling the professional they hired about it. No harm done. Just changing your words ever so slightly can save a relationship and change the vibes you put off.

Put Pride and Other Emotions Aside

It’s easy to let pride or other emotions get in the way sometimes. You’re a professional. Put that aside. Now, I’m not saying we have to always kiss ass. There is a line we should draw and if a client is constantly off-putting with how they criticize something, eff them. It’s OK to finish this work and fire that client forever.

I’m just saying, we really need to think about how we respond to clients. It is so hard to read emotion in text and it’s very easy to come off the wrong way. Be mindful of that.

Now, go kick ass! And remember, you are a PROFESSIONAL!

About The Author

JD Simpkins

JD Simpkins is the creator and founder of GroLancer, The Freelancer's Growth Platform. As a web developer, he fell in love with freelancing back in 2005. He has mentored many up-and-coming freelancers over the years and developed a passion for helping others work towards their dreams. He used a lot of tools to run his freelancing business and remembers how expensive this became. That's when he decided to build GroLancer, not only to share information with aspiring and established freelancers but wanted to offer all of the tools a freelancer needs to run their business and make it affordable to everyone, no matter what level they are at in their career!

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