With clients the work is personal. I want it to be personal. So, being in authentic relationship with my clients really elevates the purpose of the work that we're doing together. We're just doing interior decoration or construction on their house, but this is their home, and it's a big chunk of their life that they're spending pulling it together, perhaps a big piece of their income. I want them to feel like it was for a positive part of their lives and they reflected something of themselves into their living environment and to their friends and to their community, and I was able to facilitate that. But, if we had not been in authentic relationship, I can't reflect their personality into their home.
Professional standards tend to emphasize efficiency over relationships. It would be easy for Kimberly to simply ask for a floor plan, do her job, and then present the finished result, but something would be missing, wouldn't it? It might be easier to see this in jobs that, like interior design, depend on a lot of give-and-take between client and designer—but what about bank tellers, grocery checkers, or food servers?
We have plenty of opportunities to treat personal interactions as either transactions...or as opportunities, however brief, for relationships. Which has more to offer?
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