You may have heard of such blog titles before, but I would like to think the answer I am going to share with you is different. It is not the ability to use Photoshop, draw or choose the best font for the job. The key to becoming a great graphic designer is the ability to listen. Truly listening to the needs of your clients requires that you also ask the right questions. Curve out some time to construct these questions and then go back to them after I while, as you will always think of more.
In doing so, you will find there will be less scope for conflict for the duration of the project, and the client will appreciate that you are taking the time and effort to understand what they are looking for. One too many times in the past I have jumped straight into a project, usually because the client wants a quick turn around for their requirement. But with that, I have ended up either not producing exactly what they wanted or spent far more time than I should have completing the task. Take some time for your next project and really seek to understand what your client is looking for, I guarantee it will work in your favour.