Jared M. Spool who is the founder of User Interface Engineering, the largest usability research organization like it, offers some useful advice in how deal with people that “stick beans up their nose” for what appears to be no good reason at all. By managing the expectations before and after people use beans in improper ways, a consultant can better serve or walk away from these irrational consulting situations.
The only thing I can do in a beans-and-noses situation (notice my clever use of flight-attendant grammar forms?) is wait. Wait until the bean is in its final resting place. Then, with a calmness only seen in yoga instructors, I can turn the nose owner and ask, “So, how is that working for you? Did it do everything you’d hoped?”
Of course, if they answer they enjoyed it and it was wonderful, then they are not someone I can relate to or help in any way.
However, if sticking a bean deep into their nostril doesn’t meet the very high expectations they’d had, I can now start talking alternative approaches to reaching those expectations.