Yesterday, Jim wrote about his strategy for working with me (Shelby) and what he thought my strategy was for working with him. Now, it’s my turn.
It’s true that acquiring Jim’s company ColorMetrix as a client enabled me to start my own business. This partnership guarantees stability in income and that’s significant. I keep that in mind when I interact with Jim.
I think of Jim as my number one client and that’s how I treat him. I always take his calls and answer his emails, texts and tweets straight away and make sure his projects get done in an efficient way and in a timely fashion.
However, just because ColorMetrix is my number one client, it doesn’t mean I’m at Jim’s beck and call or that I don’t speak my mind when I deem it appropriate to do so.
Sometimes we all need to be reeled in a little bit. I’m no exception and neither is Jim. Sometimes we need to be reminded that our work, plans and schedules affect others.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of my tasks is editing this blog. When Jim posts a blog at 10 p.m. Sunday night for a publish date of Monday, that’s a problem for me. Not only do I have to stop whatever I’m doing at that time of night to edit, I don’t think I’m as sharp as I would be if I wasn’t editing at that hour or under that kind of time pressure. It’s simply not fair and I was quick to tell Jim that.
However, it’s how I told Jim about this problem that I think shows my strategy for working with him. I sent out a teasing tweet about it on Twitter.
The result: Jim is now making an effort to write blog posts up to one week ahead of time. This gives me ample time to edit thoroughly, make suggestions and ask questions if I have any.
Jim’s implementation of this new writing schedule also showed me that he not only respected me as a team member, but also as a person who has a life outside of the work I do for him.
In Jim’s prior post, he said that me dealing with his rather large ego (don’t kid yourself, he does have one) and putting him in his place from time to time is what he thinks matters most in my “Working with Jim” strategy. Yes, I fill that role when necessary, but always in a joking manner. He usually ends up laughing at himself and it seems like he appreciates me being candid about it.
In my opinion, this is most important: Jim and I have a partnership and we treat each other as people in that partnership who each deserves mutual respect for their thoughts, ideas and time.
Both of us can do our respective jobs, but we do it better because of the respect we have for each other. In a nutshell, this is why I like working with Jim.
Raul Colon says
Wao… I would have never thought Jim had an Ego… I guess it is a small one and he has you to control it.
I see how many people don’t have clear communication with clients. Whenever I see I don’t have clear communication with a client I make sure to do everything possible to fix it.
If I see it is heading nowhere I have to find a cordial way to pull out of the project.
Jim Raffel says
Sort of answered this on the other post but it belongs here as well. To have a blog with one’s name on it requires a certain amount of ego 🙂
Agreed on communications – Shelby and I keep it pretty loose and open. Sometimes I can tell she’s holding back and I just keep saying “what?” until she opens up. Most of the time what she has to say is good constructive criticism for whatever it is we are working on.