If you’ve ever felt like, as a service provider or employee, somewhere along the way you ended up in a Twilight Zone situation, you are not alone. As someone who is both amused, sad and enraged from the stories I read in Clients From Hell, yesterday I remembered a chapter from Stephen M.R. Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill’s The speed of trust: the one thing that changes everything, Clarifying Expectations. I wish I had remembered these words earlier and had avoided certain professional decisions:
“Someone once asked why we put business agreements in writing if we trust the other party. My response is that agreements identify and clarify expectations, which actually help preserve and even enhance trust over time. I’ve known of several “handshake” deals that went south because there never was clarification of expectations beyond the initial deal, or because when the players changed, so did the understanding of the deal. I’m not against handshake agreements, but I prefer that they also become written agreements so that expectations regarding both parties are clear”.