I work taking care of older people so they can stay in their own homes. Most of them grew up around here, and of my current clients, one was a store-keeper, one a life-long gardener, two were homemakers, and two were German farmers.
I realize that I get along with all of them because of how I was raised. It was dad's example of how to use just the right amount of "schputt" without assuming too much...lol From him, I have just enough understanding of farming to talk about it with them, and little enough to need questions answered. (I've even printed family photos and taken them along to a clients house for an explaination, which pleases both of us). Dad gave me his sense of humor.
Mom fine-tuned my "appropriateness", and added the softness I need now. There's always a little apprehension when I go to meet a new client (I feel a bit like a kid wondering about how I'll fit with them), but then, the empathetic "mom" part of me kicks in...the nurturer, the carer, the hugger, and the "dad" part of me makes it fun.
The startling part with my clients, tho, is that at 60, they see me as a contemporary, not a kid. Oh, my...! But that works, too...lol
I feel really blessed.