I'm sure his portfolio is very impressive

"You CANNOT have this much text in that space. We will not have your customers scrolling, on your home page!" This was followed by more emphatic assertions of what "we" would not be doing with the site the flamboyant web developer was apparently putting together for the committee across the room at a coffee shop last night. My own clients - hearing the clipped voices - paused from our comfortable discussion about our progress. And cringed. (One of them wondered aloud if the group would still exist by the end of the meeting.)

At a different kind of meeting on Tuesday night, a gentleman said to me, "Well I don't like to toot my own horn, but..."

This is me tooting my own horn. Here's the thing: I believe it's important to be respectful of my clients. And talk to them like I talk to my friends. I think it's okay to explain something to people who may not have the level of experience in an area that I do, with a little kindness. Using a bit of  humor, even. Make some analogies to explain why something matters. Draw from ordinary life experiences to illustrate these sometimes-daunting processes. Show some contrasting examples of why what you're talking about works...

When I was a little girl my parents taught me something referred to as "The Golden Rule." "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (They always, always followed this up with "Not necessarily as they HAVE done unto you.") Turns out I've never really responded that well to having someone bark orders at me. So I avoid barking at my clients. They seem to appreciate it. In fact, our meetings generally end with smiles, even laughter.

And it's not just because I hold them down and force them to watch videos of this baby on YouTube.