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SOCIAL DILEMMA VS. CREATIVE DILEMMA

I was scrolling on Instagram this afternoon and this meme popped up:





















The reason this post specifically caught my attention is because the meme actually highlights a social dilemma - not a creative dilemma despite what people may think.


There are two perspectives that I want to address:


The Designer and The Client


These two parties have agreed to work together in exchange for something. The Designer agreed to exchange their expertise for monetary gain, and the client agreed to exchange money in return for a service well-done.


Transactionally, this all sounds great. But relationally, this can go south very quickly and I am going to point out how through a few examples of inner dialogue:



 

CLIENT:


"I can tell the designer doesn't like my idea. If they don't like it, I bet others won't."


"Is there something wrong with my idea? I thought it was a good one."


"I'll just do what the designer suggests, I don't want to cause a problem."


"I am paying for the service...why can't they just do what I want?"


"How come you don't list my project in your portfolio? Do you not like it?"


"If I am paying for this, I want it to be perfect!"



DESIGNER:


"Making this change effects the entire project. It no longer aligns with their original goals"


"They hired me for my expertise, I wish they trusted my judgement."


"I'll just do what the client suggests, I don't want to cause a problem."


"This may be small and simple to them but this sets back nearly all of our progress"


"This updated design isn't an accurate representation of the quality of my work"


"I want them to love their design, but they're taking advantage of my revision allowances."


 


As you can see, both the client and the designer have valid and relatable perspectives. It's not a matter of right and wrong or a matter of creativity or talent, this is a social dilemma.


I am not saying I know what to do in this situation, but here are two of things I remind myself of whenever I've socially collided with a client (which has happened lots of times)


1. We both want the same thing

My client wants to have a good relationship with me and I want to have a good relationship with them. Right now, it's important to know what I am their teammate, not there opponent.


3. No one ever died from over-communication

A major lesson I've learned in business, if not the biggest, is the necessity of over-communication. Over-communication is the key to a positive relationship. Take these two scenarios:


"I'm sorry, that just isn't going to work!"


vs.


"I understand your frustration, I am just as frustrated as you! Let me explore a few more options to see if we can make this work but in the event we have to make a switch, there's nothing you and I can't figure out! Give me until tomorrow morning to gather some more information for you and we can talk about it further. If you have any questions or concerns that come up between now and tomorrow, you can always text me, I'll always be around."


VERY different scenarios.


Is this too much? Maybe! Is it overkill? Maybe! Is over-communication sometimes un-necessary? Maybe!!

But did you die?

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