Standing Up for Yourself - Being a Professional, Not a Patsy
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Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable
Disagreements with clients are troubling, and I won’t try to pretend otherwise. Most of us dislike conflict, and even more so when it comes to a customer who controls whether or not we get paid for our work. Unfortunately, some freelancers deal with disagreements by taking conflict avoidance to the extreme: they simply give in and do what the client demands.
It’s true that online freelancing sometimes makes this the only viable choice. Some marketplaces don’t provide dispute resolution services, and you may find yourself in a position where the client has all the power: he or she can decide not to pay, and there’s not much you can do about it.
But sometimes freelancers act like they are powerless even when they are not. They forget that professionalism doesn’t mean never disagreeing with others: it’s much less about what you say, and much more about how you say it. A simple way to summarize the idea is with the phrase: disagreeing without being disagreeable. As a professional you can stand your ground if you really feel the facts are on your side, being polite but firm in dealing with your clients. You may even find that the client respects you more for standing up for yourself.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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