Professionally speaking

Why is it that we as humans like to feel superior to those around us? To feel that we are so much better?

Now I am totally guilty of this. Always have been. I recognise it now and try not to. Sadly it’s part of human nature and definitely my make up.

I see it particularly around professionals. Often quick to judge, to assume, to not listen properly.

Now as a former solicitor I feel absolutely within my rights with what I am about to say.

Professionals I am one of you. I know your (and my) many faults and your many skills. I know how long you studied, the long hours you’ve put into your job. I know how many of you have often fought for your clients. But I also know this…

I am now on the other side. I’m one of those who you advise and assist.

I can tell you, it’s a very different world over here.

I’m not so sure of myself here. I constantly question the conviction of my beliefs. Over there, in your nice safe world, I knew that I was right. I knew the courage of my convictions.

Here I often get told that I’m not. I don’t like that and it’s not actually true. You see, I am an expert in my field. My field is the parent of an outstanding child who happens to have an additional chromosome. This field however doesn’t give me a degree in parenting a child with additional needs. I don’t get a post graduate diploma. I don’t get pay that reflects my years of experience. I do however get hours and hours of CPD.

So here’s my advice to you, professional to professional. I have been where you are.

Just think – you could be me. Before you think of anything, before you sit and start to judge…sorry I mean advise, think of that.

It’s easy to sit in your seat. Behind your desk. Another faceless file. I’m not judging you. I know you generally do your job to the best of your ability. I know that you care as much as you can.

But you do judge. You do see yourself in a more important position than us. I understand why. It’s your job, your calling, your profession.

But this is our life. Just because we have no choice in this aspect of our lives, doesn’t make us any less worthy than you. Make our opinions less worthwhile.

I have sat in a meeting where I had all my hopes pinned on a solution, on an offer for help. I had gone in hopeful but so vulnerable. Pitifully needing your help and advice, not your judgement.

I left that meeting in tears. Broken. Judged and ignored, not believed. That hurts. That broke my trust in that professional service.

I have friends who have quite honestly been victimised by professionals who should know better? Why were these friends treated so appallingly? Because they asked the professionals to do their job. The job that they’re paid to do and have a legal duty to do.

Professionals you all know the duties you have, what you trained for. Don’t miss the biggie…it’s what we used to call client care. Seeing the side that I do now, I think most lawyers nail client care compared to the professionals who I often deal with now. Manage expectations but above all listen…your client, patient, their parent…they have the best source of information you need. They can help you. Build a relationship. Trust them.


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