All posts by JRP

October Blog Visual #3

When To Say No

It’s 6pm! You’re pretty much ready to go home and relax when suddenly, an e-mail from a client pops up requiring you to finish something by 9am tomorrow morning. Obviously, this can’t be done, and you have to tell your client no. While people think that the best way to keep clients happy is to always say yes to them, this couldn’t be further from the truth. So, when should you say no to your clients?

1. …when it doesn’t benefit them
Most clients will want to hear your opinion. So if you think that the task that they’re making you do will not benefit them, tell them so. Back it up with proper reasoning. Clients will appreciate you giving your professional opinion, and see that you care for their business.

2….when you are unable to do what’s asked
Always be honest with your clients. Let them know if you or your team are unable to carry out the task. Remember to soften the blow though and make sure to offer an alternative for the task. Show them that you can still solve the problem, just not in the way they’re asking you to.

3….when it’s not within your scope of work
Sometimes clients will ask you to do things that aren’t stipulated in your contract. There may be things that aren’t officially covered for you to do (for example, if they hire you as a graphic designer, and ask you to write a script for them). When this happens, gently remind them of your official responsibilities to help better manage their expectations.

4.When it’s unethical
When you think that the task they are asking of you is unethical, kindly point this out, but listen to what they have to say as well. Be open to having your opinion changed, and they’ll learn to be open to yours, too. Remember not to let them pressure you into doing anything you’re uncomfortable doing.

Learn to be confident in the way you deal with your clients at JRP.

Oct 16_Blog 2

Keep Your Clients Close (but not too close)

When dealing with clients, especially those you’ve worked with for quite some time, it’s nice to develop some sort of friendship with them. You have to remember though to keep these business relationships professional, too! When these relationships are clear, and defined, you’ll be able to foster a strong bond with your client without either of you getting in too much into each other’s business. Try to keep these things in mind:

1. Boundaries
It gets pretty tricky when clients start asking for discounts, freebies, and request for flexible payment terms. Clients who are too friendly can be the cause of certain problems. Make sure that your clients know when, where, and how to ask and demand things from you and your team.

2. Tone
The best way to properly set the tone of your relationship with client is through (1) a client contract, and (2) friendly contact with client. The contract shows when you’ll get paid, scope of deliverables and other business-related details that’ll lessen the mundane, constant questions client may ask you. To balance this, make sure you have constant friendly contact with them. Ask them questions about their business and treat them well, so that they’ll treat you the same way.

3. Oversharing
A friend asking you, “How’s the business going?” is so different from when a client asks the same question. It’s perfectly alright to vent to your friends, but don’t do that with your clients. Vaguely share with them what’s happening even if you’re actually having a tough week. There is no need to overshare and never use them as complaint outlet.

A good relationship with your client leads to good business. Learn more about confidently dealing with clients at JRP.

Oct 11_Blog 1

Win Over Your Boss

As a kid, you strove to make your parents proud. As a student, you wanted to impress your teachers with your intelligence. You seek approval from your superiors your whole life, and that applies even more in your professional life. To win over your boss isn’t a matter of sucking up. When you have a good relationship with your boss, you get a better understanding of their expectations towards you and their perception of you influences your chances in moving your career forward. So how do you win over your boss?

1. Communicate effectively.
On your first day, make sure to ask your boss how s/he prefers to communicate and how much detail you should give when updating them about your progress. When you communicate effectively with your boss, you can build a strong relationship with him/her.

2. Be loyal.
Never talk badly about your boss behind his/her back, especially to your colleagues. Remember, gossip spreads like wild fire and your boss will find out you’ve been talking about them eventually. If you have a problem, communicate properly and keep those conversations between yourselves. Lack of trust could damage both your relationship and your career.

3. Take initiative.
Always know your work load, and when you see that you have a bit of free time, try and take initiative. Volunteer for some new projects! Make sure that you give a 100% with your work load and the initiatives. This shows your boss that you’re capable of handling more responsibilities.

4. Seek solutions.
Try not to rely on your boss to fix everything. Don’t whine about your problems either because that brings down the morale of everyone in your team. When a problem arises, don’t just point it out, try to come up with solutions of your own and ask your boss for their advice on it.

Good relationships with your boss can give you better confidence at work. Remember, Confidence is Powers. Learn more of it at John Robert Powers.

Sept 29_Blog 3

Business Small Talk

Do business meetings scare you? Would you rather stare at the ceiling as if it were the most interesting thing in the world and avoid talking to people at social events? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. The prospect of talking to people you don’t really know, freaks most people out. Knowing how to engage in small talk is necessary in business though. So, read up on how to improve your business conversation skills.

1. Use an icebreaker.
Icebreakers are the best way to jumpstart a conversation. Hopefully, this can lead to a fruitful conversation, rather than the dreaded awkward silence. So, use questions like “How did you find yourself in the _____ field? And make sure to lessen the unnecessary silence in the room.

2. Find common ground.
When you stay on a topic that most of the people in the conversation are familiar with, you’ll lessen the pregnant pauses. Finding common ground leads to easier and more effective communication. Avoid controversial topics like politics and religion so the conversation doesn’t tense up or lead to a heated debate.

3. Ask open-ended questions.
Yes/No questions or one-answer questions will lead to a dead end conversation wise. So, avoid questions like “Where did you go to school?” “Where do you live?” Encourage your conversation partner to share some more detail (but hopefully not too much detail) about their lives. Ask them about their children or their family.

4. Share anecdotes.
It’s important for you to share a few things about yourself as well. If they bring up a topic that you have a funny story about, share it! It lets your conversation partner know that you can relate to them, and that you’ve really been listening to them. This also forms a better bond, which will help you in the long run.

Remember to remain confident all throughout your conversations. Learn the Powers of Confidence at JRP.

Sept 20_Blog 2

S/He’s Dating the Boss

Your boss: the forbidden fruit in the Eden that is your office. We get it! It’s hard to resist that charm, that intelligence and that confidence, but dating the boss probably isn’t going to end up in a fairy-tale ending like Laida and Sir Miggy did. So, if you’re dating your boss or your officemate seems like they’re in a relationship with their boss, mull over these points:

1. The choice is yours.
The very first thing you need to do is take a step back and check if everything is consensual — that no one is being forced to do anything they don’t want to do and that the choice to be in this relationship was freely made. If everything is good, we can move on to the next item.

2. Check the policy.
A lot of companies have policies in place addressing junior-senior relationships because they believe that these types of relationships can compromise business’ interests. So, make sure to check if your company has these policies and what the implications are if they do exist.

3. Draw the line.
Probably the most important tip in this list — do NOT mix personal life and professional life. Dating the boss, especially when s/he isn’t single, doesn’t give an excuse to use the relationship as an advantage in the workplace. Remember, you’re being paid to work and not to have public displays of affection in the office.

4. Expect the gossip.
Despite any and all attempts to keep the relationship hush hush or in the down low, office gossip spreads like wildfire. So, expect the outrageous rumors and even some hurtful comments. For a while, the people involved will most likely be known more for the relationship than for the work that they do.

Deal with these kinds of obstacles with grace and confidence. Learn the Powers of Confidence at John Robert Powers.