When I think about what it means to be a craftsman, I think about my friend Jon; he builds houses. He’ll probably do that the same way for the rest of his life.
Thinking about his craft led me to a question about our industry: have humans ever had to change up what they do as fast and often as we do? Our craft exists in a never-ending state of flux. It won’t settle down for a while, if ever.
If you work on the web, and you’re not changing it up constantly, you’re probably not doing it right. This can put a barrier between us and others we work with. Who’s not encountered a client who’s uncomfortable with <insert latest web trend>? Who’s not had a colleague who just can’t see how something will change their work?
It’s not that I think we’re superior; far from it. Sometimes I dream about being able to master something without the ground constantly shifting under my feet. The status quo feels like a warm blanket sometimes; who wouldn’t want their world to act more or less predictably?
With this thought in mind, I’d like to propose a new attitude to our clients and colleagues who struggle to keep up; they need us to keep them going sometimes. Thinking about them empathically, as we would our users, offers us a more collaborative mindset.
What are they feeling? Fear. Uncertainty.
What are they needing? Knowledge. Reassurance. Safety.
Give them these things, unconditionally. Walk into those meetings with no expectations that people should ‘just know’. That is the price of being comfortable with a never-ending headwind of change, rushing into your face.
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