One of my coaching clients is a small business owner, and we are going through Ten Steps to a Successful [Business] Launch together. Recently, we were on the module that covers time management. She expressed a little frustration over one of her clients who shows up late and unprepared for their appointments. I asked her if he was worth keeping as a client and she responded, “Absolutely!” Then she added, “I just need to practice better time management.”
Suddenly, I found myself blurting out, “It sounds like you need customer management, not time management.” She sat back in her chair and said, “Wow! You’re exactly right.” As we spent the next several minutes exploring this thought, she had another aha: We teach people how to treat us. If a person’s behavior toward us is disrespectful or inconsiderate but we remain silent, we are communicating that their treatment of us is acceptable.
My client and I were able to create a plan that would work best for her and for the client she wanted to keep. Instead of him initiating their phone appointments, she decided it would work better if she called him first. She also created a “prep form” to help him process in advance what he wanted to discuss during their appointment. He’s becoming a more organized person, and she’s being treated and valued as she deserves to be.
- Who is treating you in an unacceptable manner? What boundaries can you establish that will benefit both of you?