Choose Your Clients Wisely

I really blew it on Monday morning. I got up at 4:30 a.m. I read my notes. I did my hair. (Everyone knows you can’t do adequate strategic planning with bad hair). I stopped by Northwest Coffee for a double latte. I was loaded for bear.

I showed up 15 minutes early to begin facilitating the meeting. I was to run a series of committee meetings to help the board and stakeholders create a strategy for growth over the next 5 years.

We began at promptly at 7:30. 30 minutes into the meeting, one of the board members said, “I am really confused here. What does all of this have to do with governance.” I brilliantly replied, “This is the program committee meeting.” Everyone assured me I was in error. All 7 members of the governance committee were suddenly reassured that they weren’t crazy. It was their consultant who wasn’t making any sense.

I had done something I am truly embarrassed about. I had wasted my client’s time. They couldn’t have been nicer. They even rescheduled a follow-up meeting to work on real governance issues, not the program issues I had been prattling on about for the first 30 minutes of the meeting.

I felt like a total moron. Has my life been difficult lately? Yes. Should it be my client’s problem? No.

Not only will I make an end of the year contribution to these wonderful people, but I will also find a way to make this up to them.

Choose your clients wisely. We all fall on our faces periodically. It is nice to have someone lend a hand to help you up rather than stomp on your crumpled body.

Carol Weisman, MSW, CSP, embarrassed in St. Louis


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