Every team member is a potential contributor to the growth and creativity of the team.
A successful and happy office’s team members are encouraged to make input to the affairs, the creativity and well being of the firm. Team meetings are held regularly to encourage idea sharing where team members put forth their ideas. Create a suggestion box to collect ideas.
The pitfall of soliciting team member input is that if your team members’ suggestions are not implemented, the one who made the suggestions feels put-out and feel not listened to. When inviting team members to make suggestions, preface the invitation that all suggestions must fit the company’s objectives and budget. When suggestions are not used, give reasons for their rejection.
As team members making suggestions, whether they are used on not, they learn about their employer the company and the team.
When I began my career
I should know! When I began my career, I was eager to put forth my ideas. At first, only one in ten of my ideas had any merit - this didn’t stop met from trying. As the years went by my ratio for getting acceptance on my suggestions increased.
Making suggestions and putting forth ideas is a great learning exercise for a young practitioner – especially ones that are new to the firm. As suggested ideas are evaluated, the new team member learns more about the detailed workings of the company. The more they know about the company and how it works, the more they become an asset to the company.
As an architect, you are a team member in the process of design and construction of a project.
The client initially is wary of your ideas, as you do not yet have an intimate knowledge of their needs and his vision. The good news is that even when your client rejects your ideas, you’re learning more about them and vice versa. This back-and-forth process is the beginning of a relationship. Be patient; as your clients gets to know you, they will begin to trust your instincts and that is when you can really maximize both your creativity and design by understanding of the client’s needs.
As the relationship between you and your clients grow, you get to know their needs and they begins to understand your approach, resulting in a stronger working relationship. The longer the relationship continues, the stronger it becomes and you begin to more effectively determine mutually satisfactory solutions.
Keys to strengthening relationships with clients
1. preparing and asking thoughtful questions
2. listening carefully to the responses to the questions
3. asking follow up questions that demonstrate you are listening
4. taking thorough notes on your meetings
5. reviewing and summarizing notes of your meeting
6. repeating the highlights of the previous meeting and asking if they are an accurate account of the proceedings.
7. Never get discouraged when your client rejects your ideas.
Following this process you will soon know and understand your client and your client will begin to trust you with his project and the money it takes to build it.