Confidence vs. Arrogance

Clients expect us to know something, even the ones that think they know everything.  Caving to a client's every whim diminishes the project and probably leaves them less satisfied with the end result than if we had really been advocates for the approach that all of the experience and knowledge we have leads us to believe is best.  I recently ran across several articles whose authors must have mind melded with me:

from  Mary Breuer's article "Hire the People Your Clients Value" (who herself cites two other design professionals):
Clients can perceive a personal conviction that an individual has about his/her ability to bring value to the project and to the relationship. For reasons too complex to go into here, the design professions have tended to become insecure and somewhat timid. Art Gensler … again in The Executive Architect: “People in the profession don’t value what they provide. They’re so eager to provide something, that they don’t place an economic value on it” Jim Cramer argues for the importance of conviction in his book Design Plus Enterprise: “Clients are not looking for architects who pressure the design process with a peacock display of ego or, more troublesome, jerk around the design team. Instead, they’re in the market for professionals who know their own strengths and deliver the goods with full confidence.”
and from (of all places) the July 2010 issue of Vogue in Patrick Kinmonth's profile of garden designer Jinny Blom:
Blom says, "In the early days, when perhaps I was too eager to please, I was walking with {a client} and she said, "You know, Jinny, you must never let the client get the upper hand- it's the garden that matters.'"