Don’t Forget To Speak Up


As the DMV braces for potential damage from Hurricane Florence, I’m reflecting on how I’ve interacted with my coworkers (or clients if you will) when submitting work. We recently submitted a huge proposal that involved several graphics on my end. After at least 7 revisions per graphic, we finally reached the end. Once everything was said and done, I thought about what I could have done to speed along the process so I could work more efficiently.

The main error I made was I didn’t voice my opinion much.

I could go on and on about how important it is for people to speak up in different situations but this particular post is for anyone whose job is to create things for others.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a people pleaser at work and avoided any confrontation like the plague. I did my best to just nod and smile when someone had an idea, even if it was terrible. I knew deep down that their idea either wouldn’t work or had a suggestion but didn’t want to feel like I was stepping on anyone’s toes.

I had to remind myself that I was the designer so they actually looked to me for my expertise. No one would rudely shut down an idea so it was worth at least voicing it. If we did not go with that option, fine, but at least it was out there.

It is true that there are some clients that have a concrete idea in their head and will refuse to deviate from it. These clients can be the hardest because they won’t budge even if their idea isn’t practical. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best to just show them why it won’t work instead of explaining because words don’t mean anything to them. However, just sparking a new idea and letting them sit on it for awhile can slowly make them come around.

As creatives, we must be brave enough to not always be a people pleaser and do what we think is right. Would you rather create something you hated because you kept quiet or guided it to something you’re proud of because you spoke up? Be confident in yourself and your work. There is a reason why that client came to you in the first place so show them why you’re an asset. You are not a machine that churns out people ideas.

If I had taken my own advice sooner, I would have saved myself hours of frustration and revisions.

Have you ever created something you didn’t like just to make a client happy? I’d love to hear your stories!

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash