I get along great with most of my clients, but I occasionally have some that I never seem to sync with. A few years ago I had a client I really didn't like, either as a person or a client, even though her staff loved her. What gives?
Is this any different for clients than with other people you associate with? It may seem so because people we associate with in social settings are usually preselected because they share a common interest or lifecycle stage. We associate with clients because they come to us for professional advice and don't always share their philosophy or approach to management.
The first step is to know who you are. Look at your MBTI, Harrison, Prevue, DISC, or other personality profile to understand your interests, inclinations and style. Recognize that your approach to communication, tolerance for risk, willfulness, and so forth will affect how you relate to corresponding aspects of your clients.
Next, understand your client, both as an individual and in his or her business setting. Are your profiles compatible, complementary, or somewhere in between? This is something we rarely do but it is critical to understanding how to most effectively work with and make recommendations to a client. See what you can do to adapt to your client's profile in ways that do not compromise your professional services. Tip:
Recognize that your job is not to get a new best friend. It is to provide professional advice in an objective and independent manner. If your conflicting personal styles interfere with your ability to be objective, you are obliged to withdraw from the engagement. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA