Over the years, I’ve thought about whether one should work with people one doesn’t like. I suppose that working with people you don’t care for could impact the quality of your work, but I’ve always thought that a true professional should be able to perform at the highest quality, whether s/he likes the client or not. (Tweet this) And that idea has been borne out in my own work, as I’ve taken on clients now and then that I have nothing in common with or just don’t particularly care for. We all know people who just aren’t our cup of tea.
But here’s the thing – while I might opt out of working with someone because I don’t think I can actually help them, I would never opt out of working with someone because I have a different set of beliefs from them. I would never deny someone service because of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion. I would only refuse service if I knew I could not deliver my services at the highest possible quality. (Tweet this)
So when am I unable to deliver my services at the highest possible quality?
- When the client is unwilling to do the work.
- When the client is unwilling to let me help them.
- When the client wants consulting in an area that is not my area of expertise.
- When the client has a bad business idea that just doesn’t have potential.
- When I no longer have room in my schedule.
Those are the only circumstances in which I would decline to work with someone, and if I decline to work with someone, I will tell them exactly which of these reasons is the reason why I cannot help them.
But that reason is never “we have different points of view.”
I often disagree with my clients’ religious or political viewpoints, but one of the reasons I don’t often speak publicly about my religious or political viewpoints is because I don’t want anyone to have a reason not to work with me. If I say what political party I am, I instantly alienate anyone from the opposing party and I give them a reason not to hire me. And frankly, I can help you grow your business, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, or even a (gasp!) nonvoter.
And none of these things determines anything about whether or not I’m good at my job!
I wouldn’t want potential clients to discriminate against me based on my religious or personal beliefs…so why would it be okay for me to want to discriminate against them? It’s not okay!!!
Standing up for discrimination is just bad business. (Tweet this) If you refuse to work for or with someone because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation, believe me, word will get around and you’ll have people boycotting you, writing negative reviews about you, and before you know it, you’ll be closing your doors.
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