Tag Archives: Emotions

How I Learned that Burning Bridges is A Career Limiting Move

burning bridges
Why you shouldn’t be burning bridges

When I was in high school, I had a job at a restaurant. At one point, being a mature 16-year old, I wanted to quit. I didn’t just want to quit. I wanted to tell the boss off and storm out of the place.

I was talking to my dad about it. He told me that I shouldn’t be burning bridges like that.

“Dad, I’m not going to set anything on fire.” I responded.
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Does That Guy Really Bother You?

bother you
Does that guy really bother you?

As a consultant, you get a unique array of seating arrangements.  It’s rare for a client to give their consultants a corner office with a view.  About the only corner office you’ll get is the cubicle in a high traffic area.

In most cases, a consultant is seated in a project room with a number of people; fellow consultants, competing consultants and client employees.  I’ve sat in team rooms with a few as four people, to large ones with as many as fifteen.

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How to Deal with Emotional Clients

Emotional Clients
Dealing with Emotional Clients

I’ve usually been able to manage my emotions in business settings.  Everyone makes mistakes and I’ve always had a tolerance for that.

But every once in a while, you get a client who doesn’t handle their emotions well.  And that can be contagious.

It happens quite innocently.  Perhaps you need to check with your client to get an update on something they promised you a while back.
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Consulting Skill: Dealing with Criticism

Consulting Skill
Consulting Skill: Dealing with Criticism

You would think, by the time we get through twelve years of primary education and four years of college, that we’d be able to deal with criticism.  After dealing with critical parents, siblings, teachers, coaches and strangers, it should be part of our DNA.

But no matter how much criticism we face in our lives, it’s still hard to take. It is a consulting skill that every consultant must learn to master.

Great expectations

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Dealing with the Angry Client

Angry Client
The Angry Client

Most of the clients I’ve worked with have been rational people that are easy to work with.  But I’ve had to deal with a few that were completely irate with me.  Consider the following:

  • I once forwarded a document from our off-shore development center to a client for him to review in a meeting the next morning.  The mistake I made was, not only did I not review the document; I didn’t even open it to see if it was a document.  The next morning, he called screaming at me because all he could see was special characters.  Something happened with either the version of the software or the transfer of the document that caused it to be unreadable. I went to meet him to talk face-to-face and he cussed me out in the hallway outside of the conference room of his scheduled meeting.

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Consulting Skill: Getting Out From Under the Bus

Consulting Skill
Consulting Skill: Getting Out From Under the Bus

Few companies hire consultants to be scapegoats.  The primary reason consultants are hired is to help the company solve a problem, take them in a new direction, or to provide a service that they don’t have the resources to do themselves.

But that doesn’t stop them from catching blame every once in a while.  They’re an easy target really.
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Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure

under pressure
Keeping your cool under pressure

It hasn’t happened often, but I’ve worked with some very unreasonable clients.  Either they have exaggerated expectations of their highly paid consultants, or they know that they can get away with abuse without the threat of us going to Human Resources.  I’ve never taken it personally and I’ve found that if I look closely enough, I’m not the only target for these people.
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