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Flexibility: Essential for Working with Your Clients

Working with Clients

Too often we forget the benefits of being flexible with how we work with our clients. Especially for those of us who are consultants; each client is vastly different in how they run their operations and their expectations. Without some flexibility on your part, it is difficult to enable for strong, effective working relationships. I’m not saying that you need to bend on your principles; but there are many ways of working and holding to what you believe is the best way to get it done no matter what does not benefit anyone – least of all your clients.  And shouldn’t that be our primary concern – our clients and how we can help them meet their business goals?

One thing I consistently hear from my clients – regardless of what I am working with them on – is that my approach is flexible in that I will work within their processes, procedures and how, frankly, they want to work. A flexible approach enables you to better support your clients because you are working in a way that works for them and not solely how you want to work with them. It doesn’t mean I give up on quality or work impossible timelines or compromise on what I know will work, but rather that I adjust my style to fit in with them – it is as if I’m a member of their organization.

As a best practice, take the time to really understand and learn about your clients before even engaging fully with them and offering a proposal for your work. By doing so, you learn how to best work with them to meet their needs. While I have a process for how I get my projects completed – whether it is socializing them throughout an organization from the very start through to capturing lessons learned and doing a business impact and ROI of the project; that process is easily understood by my clients and is flexible enough to work within their processes.

It doesn’t matter if your clients are internal or external. You need to be flexible in working with them to help them achieve their goals and for you to achieve yours.

Think about it: What are you doing to be more flexible with your clients? Where can you make changes in how you work with your clients to enable greater buy-in and commitment?

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