Turning around toxic client situations is sometimes necessary. Turning around toxic client situations for the better may be your only option, especially if your client isn’t quite toxic enough to be fired completely. Turning around toxic client situations may seem difficult–and sometimes even impossible. But your success depends heavily on your attitude, which you can control.
Turning around toxic client situations requires a mind shift. It can be helpful to tell yourself that it’s a game. Your client may be toxic, but your challenge is to detoxify the situation–without compromising your values. So how do you get started turning around toxic client situations?
Most negative situations between yourself and your client can be pinpointed to miscommunication and differing expectations. Quite frequently a basic reset can be helpful. Touch base with your client regarding where you are in the project cycle and what your client’s expectations are from this point on. Ask your client how he or she would like to communicate and what format he or she wishes to receive updates from you.
If possible, go a little deeper and mention that you’re reevaluating some of your business procedures and solicit feedback on what would make the client’s experience better . Again, your attitude is key here. If you can park your feelings toward the client and focus on being open to receiving feedback, you may be surprised at what you’ll learn.
Turning around toxic client situations can be difficult, but it can also be illuminating and rewarding. Every toxic client situation that you can resolve increases your client management and interpersonal skills.
Of course, turning around toxic client situations may not be an option if your client is rude, demeaning, or otherwise behaving unacceptably. If this is the case, consider terminating the relationship immediately regardless of project completion. You may have to take a financial hit, but your values will be intact.
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