After work.
You’re hungry.
So You decide to cook.
You fill up a pot with water, then you put it on your stove. Crank the heat up to the max so the water boils quickly.
Then you wait for it to boil, check Facebook on your phone, use up your Candy Crush lives, swipe a bunch on Tinder…
…And you suddenly hear the lid jump up and down on the pot, spilling foamy, boiling-hot water all over your kitchen.
Now you have to clean.
Mop up the water.
Wipe the stove.
Worst of all—your stomach is still empty.
Boiling water without ruining your next 30 minutes is pretty easy: Keep an eye on the water and keep the temperature at a moderate level. If it foams, you lift the lid.
Weirdly, client work is similar.
I just had a conflict with a client where things weren’t working out anymore:
*They weren’t experienced in working with a copywriter and I didn’t educate them well on that topic.
*Our communication was sparse. Sometimes, we took days to respond.
(Things are heating up…)
*Neither of us communicated clearly where things were going wrong.
(Close to boiling…)
On Friday, I sent them an invoice…
At once, we let it all out. All the communication we should’ve had weeks before was thrown at each other.
The lesson:
Let the heat out bit by bit. Have the difficult conversations before you *have* to have them.
Be honest. Say when you see things turning sideways.
Will it be uncomfortable? Yes.
But it’ll help your relationship blossom into a productive, profitable and pleasant one.
Having the hard conversations before you nee to shields you from having that one conversation that blows up and makes everybody feel horrible.
I learned this the hard way.
You don’t need to.
The great copywriter Abbey Woodcock gave me a valuable piece of advice a few weeks ago: Have difficult conversations faster.
Couldn’t agree more.