August 24, 2015

Good Communication is Everything

Good communication is everything, so make sure they understood what you wanted to tell

Few weeks ago I was invited to a freelance writing project by a new client. They wanted me to join their team of copywriters and bloggers. We spoke a lot on conditions and terms, and I didn't like what he offered. At first - he insisted on "high quality of writing". This requirement is false, since writing is a highly creative job, an art and there are no measures which can standardize writing and propose the criteria for "quality writing". Simply, it's all up to the reader and while someone can adore your writing style, tone and knowledge on the subject, someone else can be highly dissatisfied with your art. Thus, perception of writing quality in sense of web content creation is highly up to every single reader.

Other thing, I didn't like his price. I put him on ignore and didn't read his further messages, after once I kindly said that I am not ready to work for him under such conditions and that I am currently busy with another clients so I could possibly reconsider him later. However, this didn't stop him from sending more messages which were probably an attempt to convince me. Of course, he wasn't quite negotiable on terms from the start. I have read some of his messages and some of them sounded like orders, but I didn't respond to those and he even mentioned a deadline, which was realistic, yet quite short - 24 hours from then. I turned to other my clients.

The next day, around the same time I was finishing a bulk project for a well known and highly reliable client. I was happy that I could deliver something I firstly perceived as challenging, and knew that I really brought my writing quality (in the eyes of that client, of course) to a higher level.

Few minutes upon completion, the "new" client from yesterday messaged me with "where are my articles?". I was in wonder as I simply made no deals with him. He promptly started to rant that he lost large sums of money since I didn't deliver him these articles he wanted. So he kept on sending messages full of anger and offensive tone the following half an hour or so. However, I did the best that I could in that situation - I turned to other clients who always knew to express how they feel about my work.

Did I feel any guilt? Why should I? First, He falsely believed that I started to work for him albeit I never said to him that I accept work for him. Second  - which is more important for a good project manager - he spoke about "serious money" he lost with me, and if the task could inflict such a loss, why didn't he try to better monitor  it and asked me at least once over the course of these 24 hours on how's the (presumed) work going?

Although I bore no consequences there was a very important thing to learn - it is not enough to have your messages to team members comprehensible. You need to be sure that they actually understood it.  This becomes an important issue when your team has new members  which may come from various cultural, social and linguistic backgrounds.   



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