The woman who could communicate

    Woman who could communicate
    Woman who could communicate

    I once knew a woman who worked as a client relationship manager (CRM) for an IT consulting firm. The CRM’s role was to be a liaison between her clients and the candidates that we placed with those clients.

    Her job was to work with the client and understand their resource needs. She would then communicate those needs to recruiters who would identify IT workers to be candidates for those positions.

    After the recruiters submitted the candidates to her, she would talk to those candidates to verify their abilities. She would negotiate rates with both clients and candidates. If the candidate was rejected, she would communicate it to the candidate. If selected, she worked to help get the new employee on-boarded.

    That’s a lot of communication across a lot of people. It wasn’t just a single transaction with each person either. Each placement required multiple conversations with each stakeholder. And she managed many client requirements at a time.

    She didn’t have a degree in IT. But she was very good at what she did. There were many factors involved in her success. But I think the main reason was that she had a knack for communication. She was a young woman in her mid-20s. Yet her communication skills were well beyond her years.

    Since we worked in a small office, I could hear her conversations without intentionally eavesdropping. I noticed that she had several traits that made her a great communicator.

    She was likable

    When she talked to the client, she didn’t just collect the requirements. She talked to them and developed a relationship with them. Her clients grew to like her and like dealing with her. That magnetism gave her an advantage over competitors who were simply trying to take orders and fill slots.

    She knew how to say things

    Many people who need to have a business conversation will plan the conversation. They may make some notes or plan it out in their head. But they don’t always know how to say it. It requires diplomacy and a certain confidence that can’t be planned. She may have made notes too. But before she called, she knew what she was going to say and how she was going to say it.

    She was smart

    I don’t know whether she knew quantum physics or could recite all of the Presidents of the US. But that’s not the type of smart I’m talking about. She was a problem solver. She understood that every client’s need was unique as was every candidate. She accepted each requirement as a challenge. She wasn’t just checking items off of a list. She was solving a problem with each requirement.

    She wanted to help people.

    Her driving purpose was not to make money or get a promotion. She just wanted to help people. She took great joy when she would match a candidate to a client. She was helping the client fill a need. She was helping a candidate find a job.

    This might have been her ultimate key to success. She wasn’t competing with anyone. She was just trying to serve a purpose of helping others. And she loved what she did.

    Many people equate success with acquiring knowledge, obtaining advanced degrees, getting certifications and such. But everyone has the natural ability to be driven by a purpose. And if they can learn the proper communications skills, they can be more successful than they ever dreamed.

    As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms.

    If you would like to learn more about working in consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at

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