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I am very lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children, I’ve also been lucky to have spent so much time with them because of the flexibility of Spinning Plates. All this time means that I know that I have two very different children who approach life in very different ways.

However, I didn’t follow this thinking through and it led to a bit of a revelation at parents evening last week.

My eldest has always thrived at school, she finds it easy and learns quickly. My youngest has struggled more, he’s an August birthday and seems so much younger than his peers. I was expecting an easy parents evening for the eldest and some more challenges for the younger with lots of development work needed at home…

How very wrong I was.

Eldest was as expected (I’m still incredibly proud of her by the way) but the youngest is doing well, attaining where he should be with only one area of real concern which the teacher is working with him on and we’re going to help too. I sat there a bit speechless, I had prepared for something opposite to this conversation. How had I got it so wrong?

Then I realised. Although I knew my children were different I’d been judging them on a curve. I’d used all of one child’s natural ability and achievement to yardstick the other rather than researching and understanding where he should be for myself.

I feel bad about that but I understand it now and I won’t make the same mistake twice.

It made me think about clients in a slightly different way, knowing people are different is one thing but then judging them against someone else is counterproductive, you have to arrange your thinking, ways of working or your approach against a common scale of measurement. Just because one client likes communication via email once a week and one likes a phone call every day doesn’t make one of them demanding; just because one client loves data in a spreadsheet and another likes me to draw out a picture it doesn’t make one of them more practical than the other. It’s these differences that should be understood and used correctly to up my level of service provision. My ultimate aim is to be a totally personalised service for each client and this can only enhance that.

I’ve got some thinking to do on this and how to change my way of thinking for not just my clients but also my children. Hopefully I can get even better at anticipating needs and meeting expectations and hopefully I’ll be a lot more relaxed going into the next parents evening!