What do you do when you feel your client does not value you?

And this can be at work with colleagues, managers and our personal relationships.

A friend who runs a successful business called and asked what he should do as he had a client who had cancelled their meeting, made a habit of doing so without sufficient notice and was often reluctant to pay the cancellation fee.

He has been a provider for several years, and his work is consistently professional and delivered to a high standard.

However, he feels the client’s attitude is surly and disrespectful. Despite considering the potential loss of revenue if he challenges him, he does not like how he’s treated.

We had a vigorous conversation as I asked, “what part have you played in making things get to this stage,” and why did you allow it to go on for so long?

Initially, he was defensive but finally agreed that he did not speak up when he should have. But added, “I’ve had enough. I expect will lose money, but it’s hard to continue working where I don’t feel valued.”

“In the past, I would grin and bear it when I started my business, but now I can choose and don’t want to accept such treatment anymore.”

Working in any environment is hard when you feel undermined and disregarded.

However, the issue is sometimes, when you raise the courage to speak up, a lot may be at risk – revenue, promotion, being seen as a troublemaker, harmony in the team or at home. But there comes a time when you have to draw a line because your feelings of discontent and not honouring yourself can eat away like cancer, and all sense of objectivity is lost.

This is why it’s important to tackle the matter early and quickly.

In any relationship, business or otherwise, the cracks begin to show in time if there isn’t mutual respect. As I said to him, when it does not feel right, you must have a conversation, clear the air, and redefine your boundaries.

If you don’t feel better or the situation is unresolved, it’s time to move on because if they cannot see or respect your value, the fees become secondary at that point.