Professionalism 101: How To Be The Bigger Guy



There happens a lot of times where you might want to scream and shout insults. Whether you are a client or a freelancer, you might find out that your counterpart is not up to your expectations, worse, he could be the worst you have ever met (this in the case if you did not meet a lot of them :D). In this article i will explain ways to handle both clients and freelancers so they don’t start a smear campaign on your name and you are not ashamed. The idea is to take the chill pill and suck it up so you don’t ruin your reputation by someone who does not deserve that attention. I will explain the balance between self respect and politeness to ensure that your business works smoothly.

Professionalism 101 How To Be The Bigger Guy

1 – Be Polite even if your counterpart is not

As i stated above, there might be times when you want to go through the computer screen, grab the guys throat and strangle him to oblivion. The problem is, if that guy goes out with a screen shot of how you are behaving with workers, you might get workers or possible clients that you are treating everyone like that, and they’ll form the idea that you are an asshole in all seriousness. That’s why you should always try to have a civilized conversation, or simply ignore belligerent or non skilled people. Let’s pretend that you are freelancer called “Freelancer A” and you are talking to a B client. Conversation goes like this:

You: Hey, we have problem X and problem Y. You need to change your X and Y so i can continue working.

Client B: But you guys are experts! You are supposed to figure these things out yourselves!

You: Yeah, i could if i tried, but i am not goin to intrude in your “insert personal online space here”. Please provide me the changes. I will finish as fast i can.

Client B: No. You will figure this out yourself.

You: I understand but i neither have the password or the username for “insert personal online space”

Client B: WOW! You are the worst freelancer i have ever met.

Now i expect you to wait for me to trash him and insult his family/coworkers/whatever he holds dear in his life. But no, i won’t stop at his level. Instead i will respond with:

You: I understand your frustration, but accessing your personal e-mail is impossible for me, and not right morally anyways. Please don’t ask me to access your stuff. I can recommend you to another freelancer if you have complaints to my address.

Most of the times you can successfully guilt them into giving up and realizing that they were behaving in an unfair manner to you. Others get even more angry at your politeness and try to get a reaction of you (Cut contact with these as fast as possible, emotional manipulation ahead).  Chances are that if your client or freelancer is using verbal attacks to manage things, he is not having much or any success in the field, so he will bring you down if you continue your collaboration with him.

2 – Be Honest

And then there’s the time you might be too polite. You should not disrespect yourself or give away your free will either. Simply state that you do not wish to continue with him anymore because he is insulting you. Set your boundaries well and don’t them tested. The other part of having your reputation being ruined for insulting people, is having your reputation ruined for being a pushover for everyone that comes along and dumps his emotional baggage right on your shoulders. Set clear lines and know when to let them know they have stepped them. See the following example:

You: Hey sir, i have finished the tasks you have requested from me. I am awaiting your payment right now. Have a nice day!

Client: I do not want to pay you because i didn’t like what you did. You forgot “insert really silly excuse right here, such as a pixel difference”

You: Yes sir, i will fix it right now

You go out of your way to fix the smallest meticulous requirements, because you like satisfying your clients. But you realize that he is making up excuses all along to way to not pay you. Here is how to respond:

You: Hello Sir, i have fixed all the problems that you ask me to fix. Are you satisfied? Client satisfaction is very important for me 🙂

Client: No. I want you to start all over. I do not like what you did anymore. I want you to delete everything and being from start and follow what i say 100% because i dont like this job anymore. I want something else

You: I understand but i can’t do work from start except if you pay me the amount for it. I am hardly accepting my work being thrown away like this, but i will make an exception.

Client: No. I don’t want to pay again. I WANT YOU TO DO IT FROM START RIGHT NOW. Or i will not pay you anything

You: You are being unfair to me by not paying me for my work and time and i will have to resort to contacting “insert authority here such as job website administration or even the police, if you are a contract worker”. Please provide payment in example time frame. This is disrespect to my skills and the work i have put down.

The best thing to do here is to contact the said authority and tell them that the client is unwilling to pay, attached with a screenshot on the conversation where he admits not desiring to pay for the amount of your work.

So, in this article, we have explained the balance between self respect and politeness. Don’t set on your boundaries either, but do be polite with unwilling or unknowing people. You will be thanked later by the same people that you didn’t react as they wanted you to do. Maturity over Reaction.

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