Getting Serious, Without Being Serious.

By VP of Fun Becki Woodbury

 

Marketing is a serious business, particularly for the client whose life’s work is in our hands. Even so, as a speaker at a recent conference reminded me, it’s important to “take the work seriously, not yourself.” That critical difference is at the heart of the workplace culture here at CLM, and it’s what I enjoy the most about this agency.

A good client-agency relationship is like any good committed relationship: it’s built on trust and authenticity. Our clients trust us to help them solve their serious marketing and business problems. We provide seriously important work for their businesses, and they provide seriously important input and feedback to the process.

It’s an honest and open exchange: we say what we think, and we listen to what they say. And in the case of great partnerships, we’re allowed to be ourselves. For me, that means not being bound by the dictates of verbal English—supplementing my insightful word and impassioned ideas with copious hand gestures and original sound effects. I can take my work seriously, but not myself.

People who take themselves seriously aren’t fun to be around. They’re not approachable. They often come off as arrogant. And when you’re talking to them, you end up wading through posturing to get to the heart of the discussion—an exhausting exercise for everyone involved.

In short, taking yourself too seriously is not conducive to building productive, successful business relationships with clients or partners.

Luckily, doing serious work doesn’t have to mean being serious. And I live that difference every working day—often with an original sound effect or two.

 

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