One recent Monday I was having a cup of tea with a business journalist. He knows my business pretty well. He remarked, “You can only work with clients you believe in don’t you?” He was right. I have to value what my clients are doing and saying. I’ve never found a way to back something or someone I don’t personally believe in.
On Tuesday a client emailed, “Thanks for the report. More importantly, thanks for believing in me.” This made me think. My belief in clients isn’t a one-sided affair. They’re in on it too. Especially as they’re often launching a first book, speaking publicly, sharing opinions and revealing their own values.
On Wednesday I spoke about this belief with Michael, my business coach. We agreed. It’s a powerful but unacknowledged part of my work that my clients are people I believe in. I wondered if I should let my clients know that? I decided I would. I ask a lot of my clients. Asking them to step up, have their say, agenda-set, be the expert. It takes getting out of their comfort zone and involves staying there. If they’re getting too comfortable, I nudge them along. And I believe in them as they do all that.
On Thursday, at the end of a very honest and open session with a client, someone I was encouraging to step out of their comfort zone, they asked, “And you think I’m up for it?” Guess what I said? “You bet. I believe in you.”