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Wake Up Call

Saturday morning, sleeping in till 7:30.  A welcome departure from the 5:15am that my wife typically sets the alarm during the week.

The cellphone on my nightstand starts buzzing. While fumbling to get it, I miss the call. I try to call them back but they don’t pick up.
Good time to check email then.

And there it is…

An email from a new client, expressing his frustration in dealing with me on his project. My stomach immediately tightens into a knot.

Good Morning!

My gut reaction, as I would imagine most people would have, is one of defensiveness. I actually skimmed the email initially, blinded by the chatter in my head trying to make sense of the situation.

Instead of firing back a curt response, dismissing his feedback, and defending myself, I took my phone and iPad up to the kitchen to reread his email over a cup of much needed coffee.

Right or wrong, this was HIS experience of the situation. He, like most clients, want to feel like they are the only ones in the world, as they are spending hard earned money to get things done. I understood where he was coming from, and I actually had to step back to absorb the depth of his comments. Was I really presenting myself in that way? As we don’t walk around with a mirror to see ourselves all the time, we must rely on the experience of others.

As I read more I also realized I was not explaining correctly a technical block that I ran into yesterday in setting up his website. He mistook this as me not even trying. Not my intent at all, as I wanted to do it right.

So I replied very humbly, thanking him for his email, and prompting us to have a call.

When he picked up, he wasn’t as mad as the email let on. I immediately acknowledged that I thought his feedback was good and that I appreciated it. I began to explain to him what happened on the technical issue, and within seconds he got it, and the situation was immediately diffused. That was the thing that set off some other feelings he was having. He is a business coach, and as the conversation went on,  he gave me some worthwhile insights into how he felt I was handling his project. All good things to know. Again, not right or wrong, but part of his experience. I take all of these things to heart, as I do care about the work I am doing for him, and want him to be happy with his decision to hire me.

Many times, we just need to be honest with each other to really get to the core of issues we face every day. Every experience is an opportunity to learn. Every day can bring a new wake up call, whether you answer it or not, is up to you.

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About the author
Tommy Spero
CD @SoulNYC Founder @MixLuvCollab @MusicMy1stLang Hubby/Dad / #Drummer / Speaker / Writer / Marketing Expert on All American Makers premiering January 2015 on @ScienceChannel

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