I recently listened to a great podcast episode by Michael Hyatt on the subject of how you speak about your spouse.
To summarize, the way you speak about your spouse in public shows a lot about your character. If you speak poorly about your spouse, you most likely have, or will have, a poor relationship.
The language we use is important. Not just that we speak in the proper manner, but the words we use to express ourselves shows how we truly feel about the people and circumstances that surround us.
Look at sites like Clients From Hell. I’m not sure I’d want to work with any of the freelancers who post there. While some are funny, chances are that if you ever see a business owner link to the site, those owners are referencing the ridiculous posts — published about clients they’ve done business with.
Just what I wanted — a freelancer thinking I’m going to be an idiot before we’ve even worked together.
My bike shop
My local bike shop used to have an employee. He was a great mechanic, and seemed to be the only one who could get my rear gears to shift properly.
I really don’t love having anyone else work on my bike since I usually have to bring it home and do a bit of touch-up work.
So while I appreciated the work this guy did on my bike, the bad thing was that he would complain loudly about other customers.
You know XXXXX always comes in here and talks about stuff then last week he bought a bike on Craigslist. What a fat idiot buying a bike. He just needs to lose some weight not spend $4K on some carbon.
Yup, that’s what he’d say about paying customers. Most of these customers he complained about were people I knew, and rode with regularly.
Wonder what he said about me
I began to wonder what the guy said about me when I wasn’t around. I’ve been talking about a new bike for a few years, but between replacing all my appliances, and having kids, and trying to get the house ready for sale, the bike just hasn’t been a high enough priority.
What are the chances this guy tells other customers how much of his time I waste talking about a bike I’m not going to buy?
Are the customers really that bad and he just complains about them, or does his complaining create bad client relationships?
We’ve all seen Clients from Hell and many of the things are hilarious. I’ve even had a few of the silly scenarios happen to me.
It’s easy to complain about challenging clients with your peers, but what does it say about you and your business?
Does that mean you complain about the other freelancers when they can’t hear you?
Do you complain about all your clients at some point?