The First Rule of Consulting

Beans Up Your Nose

Jared Spool wrote about the best piece of advice he has received on managing client expectations. This is something he calls the First Rule of Consulting:

No matter how much you try, you can’t stop people from sticking beans up their nose.

In both the web development and IT world, I have encountered a client’s desire to bring two things together that do not belong united. This is what Jared is referring to with the combining of “beans and noses.”

Beans and noses. We have beans. We have a nose. They must be united.

Previously when I have been in a bean and noses situation, I would stubbornly try to change my client’s mind. I used logic, case-studies, statistics, research, anything to convince my client not to make what I considered to be a BIG mistake. The result was frustration, that my paid advice was falling on deaf ears.

I have to change my approach. I am not going to change anyone’s mind – I will simply have to wait. Wait, and hope that I can eventually ask:

“So, how is that working for you? Did it do everything you’d hoped?”

…and then come in and save the day.

Read the full post: Beans and Noses

Photo Credit: Catherine Scott

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