The people you are working for have problems

On the latest episode of the Let’s Make Mistakes podcast, hosts Jessie Char and Mike Monteiro talk about interacting with clients. One of their exchanges could easily be about practicing law:

31:30 Jessie: There’s this thing that happens to people who have done, maybe, enough client work to get annoyed in this way, but not enough to know that it is going to be the problem for the rest of your career. Which is that once you have so many clients you kind of get used to knowing exactly their tics and what they should and shouldn’t be doing and it’s really easy to forget that some of the clients that you work with may be doing this for the first time.

Mike: Most of them!

Jessie: And they don’t have that context of all this baggage that you’ve build up over emailing at an odd time.

Mike: Client empathy takes so long to build up, and the more you do this job the more you realize that this stuff is going to happen over and over and over and you have to realize that, for you, this is Tuesday, because this is the job that you chose to take on. You solve problems for people. That means the people you are working for have problems. That means they’re stressed out.

I see people at their worst, at the lowest points in their lives. I lose sight of that at my own peril.

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