But what happens when you have a client who continues to act badly? Should you continue to go out of your way to treat them well and make sure things are OK? Should you reward this bad behavior?
Let’s look at a hypothetical example:
Suppose you are an IT Manager new to your job and to the organization. When you arrive everyone warns you about the ‘bad client’…the one person in the organization that always throws a fit and causes trouble if they don’t get their way.
You decide to go out of your way to make this person your friend and treat them as a VIP. You extend the olive branch and ensure that all of their projects are looked after.
You make some headway with the ‘bad client’ but then find that this person starts talking about you. You hear rumors that they aren’t happy. They claim nothing gets done when it should.
What do you do? You take the VIP treatment level to the extreme. You put this person’s project at the top of the priority list (at the expense of other important projects) and completely engage with the ‘bad client’. Regular meetings are held. Project status is communicated. Projects are completed.
Yet ‘bad client’ continues to push harder and continues to throw rocks are you and your team.
What do you do?
This is the conundrum that many folks find themselves in these days. They continue to treat the ‘bad client’ better than others and allow that person to continue their ways. Bad Clients are enabled. They are allowed to act bad because we reward their behavior.
I say its time to take Bob’s Sutton’s advice in his Book titled “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” and call BS on the Bad Client.
Rewarding bad behavior only reinforces bad behavior. Doesn’t it?