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Don’t Bother Me, I’m Busy Talking to Myself

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Just because you have a budget doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about

tumblr_mebmutKd421rw1uawo1_1280-01042013I just finished with a client who refused to take direction.

What’s that? You think a consultant should not give direction to a client? You could not be more wrong. That’s exactly what a good consultant does. It’s just that a consultant’s direction doesn’t look like orders or demands. A consultant’s direction looks like alternatives to the usual and invisible way of doing things.

Sometimes we need help seeing what is right before us. We are soaked in teams that are steeped in detail that is loaded with the talk that just circulates between people in the know. This adds up to a set of increasingly narrow word choices that are interesting only to the team. Those words sound like gibberish to anyone on the outside.

My client continued to talk in the insider terms only they understood. And they would not be dissuaded. In the end, they approved copy that ensured no one outside their little circle would understand.

Which feels like failure to me.

This doesn’t happen often, but it’s a bummer when it does. And it makes me think again about how complicated communication is, and why it is so important to start talking earlier rather than later. And why it is critically important that we pull our head out of the huddle from time to time.

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Image credit: killythirsk via 2headedsnake

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