What does “being flexible” mean to YOU? (3 of 3)
There are many different views about flexibility among language professionals. Some are vehemently opposed to making any concessions, while others are softer than a dryer sheet.
I’m somewhere in between. I strongly believe in teamwork, and I view my relationship with clients as such. We are two professionals, each with our own areas of expertise that we have to somehow weld together.
So to me, being flexible means:
1- Listening to what my client (my teammate) is telling me. After all, they added me to their team because they needed my input and my expertise. But they also have their own views on how they want to carry out their project, and I shouldn’t interfere with that.
2- Being open to doing things differently. Different clients, different requests, different methods. As good as my methods are, they can’t be perfect for all situations. So that’s when I need to adapt. It can be really hard, or as uncomfortable as putting on your jeans when they just came out of the dryer, but once you sit in it for an hour, you’ll feel like yourself again!
3- Finding the right balance between yay and nay. I’m not here to tell you that being flexible means accepting everything, always saying “yes” and never speaking your mind. No way. It’s healthy—and necessary—to set your limits and to enforce them. If a teammate isn’t a good player, well maybe it’s time to look somewhere else.
When I think about it, flexibility perfectly sums up what quality and service are all about, don’t you agree?