Best Communication Skills Ever!
Monday, March 31, 2014

A client, a vendor and a provider have a conference call to kick off a project.

Client (to all):  I want Foo.
Vendor:  We donít have Foo.  We have the other things you want, though.
Client:  Okay.

A few days later, the client sends project requirements to the provider.

Client:  Here are my requirements.  They include Foo.
Provider:  The vendor doesnít support Foo.
Client:  Yes, they do.
Provider:  No, they donít.  They said so during our kick-off meeting.
Client:  Yes, they do.
Provider (realizing itís pointless to argue):  Weíll check with the vendor.

After a few confusing emails, the vendor calls the provider.

Vendor:  Do you have any idea what the client is talking about?
Provider:  Yes.  They want Foo.  Do you support Foo?
Vendor:  No.
Provider:  Thatís what I thought you said.  Could you please work that out directly with the client?
Vendor:  Sure.

That conversation never happened.
A couple weeks later, the provider attempts to follow up and finalize requirements.

Provider (to all):  So, how did that conversation go?  Did you work out the issue with Foo?
Vendor:  We donít support Foo.
Client:  Yes, Foo would be great.  Vendor, you give us Foo; Provider, you can give us an estimate for implementation.
Provider:  Didnít the vendor just say that they donít support Foo?
Client:  Yeah, I get it.  They donít have Foo.  So, just give me this thing that looks and sounds exactly like Foo.
Provider:  Isnít that the same as giving you Foo?
Client:  No, “Foo” is something infinitesimally different.  I want “Foo”.
Vendor:  What you just described is Foo.
Client:  Oh.  ... So then, you donít support Foo?
Vendor:  No, we donít support Foo.
Client:  Oh.  ... So then, if we use your services, we donít get Foo.
Vendor:  Correct.
Client:  Oh.  Okay, I understand.

Provider does face-palm.

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Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing
and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in His people;
He crowns the humble with salvation.
— Psalm 149:2-4