Thoughtful feedback

07/21/2010

Many of my projects now include a component where I walk through WordPress or a server setup with a client via Skype screen-share. Today was no exception, and I spent some time walking a new client through some configurations on the site I had just migrated for him. After it was complete, something he did caught me completely unprepared: he praised my work for several minutes.

As it turns out, he was pretty well-versed in what I was walking through with him and he had poked around before we even jumped on the call. What he was interested in though, was how I handled the entire experience without knowing the depth of his knowledge. He was an entrepreneur himself and in a way was evaluating me for potential collaboration work in the future. Specifically, seeing how I would handle client interaction.

When he explained this, I felt a tinge of embarrassment and frustration at having walked through something he already knew. But the feeling instantly passed as he continued to praise my methods and communication in the process. I don’t know that too many people have taken the time to do what he did, and I thanked him for it.

Busy people (entrepreneurs, namely) are often so focused on the conveyer belt of service and production, and it’s easy to neglect things like thoughtful feedback. I was reminded today how important and gratifying it is to give someone sincere praise for their efforts.

Entrepreneurs and artists often have a lot emotionally invested in their work and craft, so someone appreciating this can make all the difference. You never know when someone might need that encouragement. Thanks Shawn.