Managers know this: We spend too much time on loud, complaining employees.

Parents know this: We spend too much time on the whining, narcissistic kid. Less on the self-sufficient kid, playing in the corner.

Companies know this: We spend too much time on the challenging boss, the never-pleased client and the bullying customer. 

We reward the people who drive us crazy

By rewarding the unreasonable client with our best work, we punish the reasonable client by taking advantage of their good nature and asking them to settle for a mediocre effort. Once you buy into this system, it’s no wonder you add more never-pleased clients to your roster: They always get your best work. But you better be prepared for a high turnover rate, unreasonable hours and stress levels that don’t allow you to produce real good work. A vicious cycle. 

Why not become a specialist in having respectful clients?

Why not stop this pattern and start delivering your best work to those that want to collaborate with you, that have the patience and long-term outlook, those that are clear and appreciative? Wouldn’t it make more sense to add more clients like that to the roster, while, over time, letting the never-pleased clients go? 

Sure, you can’t just fire those bullies right away. But, you can start working harder for the good guys. Stop taking advantage of their patience and just providing them with the minimum while over-delivering for the unreasonable client. Reverse the effort: Treat the good clients with more effort and care than you would reserve for the despots.  

Tyrants love to hang out with tyrants. If you reserve your best work for them, they will spread the word and you’ll be owning a client roster of despots. And be miserable. 

Reasonable people love to hang out with other reasonable persons. Let them spread the word for you and your work will be better and more satisfying