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A fast way to trouble: recommendations about software or technology

Ronn Hanley lists 6 Reasons Why I Hesitate to Make Recommendations to Clients and I can sure sympathize! The list is a polite description of the basic problem that you don’t really know someone else’s needs very well and that new solutions require a lot of effort that many folks just can’t handle.

“Any recommendation you make is completely subjective, which sucks since you are just trying to do your best for your client. Be aware that your job is to think things through after asking questions. Get to know your client well before you offer anything. It’s a policy I’ve learned the hard way and I won’t change it no matter how ‘simple’ it might make me seem to a new client.”

The one thing missing is that the client may be looking for recommendations in order to abuse them and then use that experience to rationalize his own fears – a psychological defense kind of thing. The pre-requisite you need before you step forward to help someone, client or friend, is to determine if they are going to join you on the path towards solving their problems. Is the person willing to work with you, to listen to you, to make the necessary changes and to learn what he needs to know? Or is he looking for a magic bullet or something to criticise and complain about so he can find a salve for his own ego?

It’s the human factors thing that just can’t be ignored when others are involved.

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