Step Into the Client's Shoes

Step into the client's shoes.

We've always heard this saying in one form or another. Your mom probably told you "Walk a mile in another person's shoes before you pass judgement on them." And you probably heard of the American Indian saying, "Walk a mile in another person's moccasins."

Why is it then, that so many people fail to think from the perspective of the client? Is it that we are so preoccupied with our own troubles and worries, objectives and goals, and needs and wants, that we don't have time to think how things look from the perspective of the client?

Every client is different. And even the same client is different on different days.

Why is this true? Because people have emotions and they think. We are not dealing with inanimate objects. Some days the client is not happy. Other days, the same issue rolls right off their back. But our dilemma is: which days are which.

If you start from the premise, that all clients are busy and all clients want to do a good job, and you truly care about the relationship, then you can better sense how things will appear to the client when you bring something to them or address some matter that is important to them.

You can never be certain which day is which. Which is why (good thing I am not writing about witches, because the whichs and witches would be confusing) we need to assume the role of the client and attempt to interpret how they may perceive something we say or write. We need to be emotionally connected. Or, we need to at least attempt to be connected.

Stepping into some clients shoes may be harder than others. We may not share the same beliefs, same ideology, same background, or favor the same needs and desires.

I probably should say it this way - we DON'T ever share the same beliefs, same ideology, same background, or favor the same needs and desires.

HOWEVER, there is always overlapping areas we do share. We just need to know the other person's feelings - and look for the similarities. And yes, I did say "feelings." Feelings are much more powerful than facts.

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