The Best Clients to Work With

by Nick Miller

I’m at the age where I have to get my eye glasses prescription changed every couple of years.  I did that two weeks ago, got the lenses and found they were worse than what I’d started with.  They’re bifocals and the near lenses forced me to get closer to the material – books, computer screen, etc. – than I care to.  I went back and worked through the problems and got a replacement pair that’s just right.  What happened?  The first time I went, I just answered the standard questions:  Better here or there?  Better number 1 or number 2?  I’d assumed the eye doctor was doing the right thing.  Little did I realize that her notion of proper reading distance was different from mine.

Common, yet unfortunate; I, the client, shouldn’t assume the expert knows what to do.  So also when I’m in the role of the expert, I don’t want the client depending on me to make all the decisions.  I want the client to ask questions, to respond to my suggestions critically.  It is clients who really get involved with the problem that are the best to work with.  Chances are, we’ll all be happier with the results if the effort was done as a partnership, not from the perspective that the expert has all the answers.

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