It’s a Tuesday afternoon and the phone rings… and before you can say hello! You have someone yelling on the other end, screaming about something that you where some how part of, in their mind, that has clearly got them to the brink of madness. Your thoughts saying, I hope the phone cuts out, which you can blame on your phone provider later.
While it’s an extreme example, and one that you may not have experienced to this degree. If you’re reading this article, I’m sensing you’re curious to know what tips you may be able to pick up because you’d like to be on the front foot when it comes to more confidently and skillfully dealing with an upset customer.
Leaving the conversion with both parties, feeling heard and satified with how you handled the situation!
But even more importantly, what if I could share a few tried and tested methods to help you to deal with the matter quick and effectively and not have to carry that heavy luggage of stress and frustration with you for days, all because of what one person inflicted on you that day?
Well read on as I share with you some ways I have learnt to manage myself, most times in more productive ways when needing to navigate through these challenging conversions. Only yesterday I had a colleague, with whom I am in a role to support, screaming at me because he felt after a situation that arrose, that I was the reason, which I new was not the case, and it was only because of what others had been doing to provide him with what he needed, and me not having given him the time he deserved over the past few months, which will discuss in the tip about table responsibility for how we are not showing up as we should be for others.
But lets continue and I hope you find these tips helpful, with one tip I discovered is very helpful to help us better navigate these types of situations, that I only discovered when researching for this article.That you may never have considered when it comes to helping turn a unhappy and angry anyone, into feeling heard and happy.
And let’s face it, we are all in positions that involve working with either customers and clients in all shapes and sizes, familiar members, co workers, suppliers or complete strangers. It’s fare to say, confronting situations can arrise with anyone.What are the keys to unlock the door to, firstly keeping our cool, and secondly taking this person from angry to wanting to jump onto Google to give us a 5 star review… as soon as they hang up the call?
LET’S GO ON A JOURNEY TO LEARN 8 TIPS TO TURNING AN UPSET PERSON INTO A CALM AND HAPPY PUSSYCAT!
1. HOW WE CHOOSE TO FEEL, IS IN OUR CONTROL
While challenging in the heat of the moment, if you can remember, it’s not the words that come out of people mouths that can be challenging and upsetting, as much as how the person being verbally attacked is interpretting what the other person is saying.
While some are instantly triggered when are instantly driven to be defensive and upset, others are not. (maybe thats you) but if you’re more of the type who does get upset and triggered… I would have you consider, why is that?
Did you cause the other person to get upset, maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. What ever the situation, just because someone else is upset, doesn’t mean you have to be also. People who are very good negotiators or just able to keep their cool when dealing with someone who is angry, are people who are able to keep their cool, because they choose to.
If someone is yelling, or talking and not allowing the other person to speak, some people can interpret their style as being rude and upsetting.
Does it mean what they are saying, is true? No!
However as humans with have deeply rooted defense mechanisms, which can cause the person on the receiving end, to go into automatic fight or flight.
What then can you do, to be like James Bond? No matter who is trying to kill him, I always stays calm and on control?
To assist us all to feel more in control when confronted with an upset client or person, is to consider, if we get upset… why do we even need to respond in this manner and possibly feel like some I’ve observed in this situation, feel like he has to make his point?
Which as I got to know this coworker, I quickly learnt, it was due to him being rather insecure and because he knew he was being true to his word and and a result of his own actions, when his customers sharing their upset and concern for what ever was the outcome of his short cutss, he knew he was on the back foot and always trying to cover his tracks.
- Which highlights the tip here, tell the truth and be your word, and if you say you’re going to do something for someone, do it!
Let’s face it, the added benefit that comes from being a person of integrity, is also much more fulfilling and good for creating happier, loyal customer and everyone!
Plus, the person living this way also has a growing sense of inner confidence and self belief. And if the odd challenging or upset customer appears, they are able to stay in a much calmer state regardless of what others are doing.
If there is a situation where someone is communicating with you in a manner that you don’t appreciate or you just want to find a solution. At the appropriate time when they’ve finished getting everything off their chest they need to.
In a calm, polite tone… Say, “May I speak?” and when they say yes, say thank you! And thank you for letting me know what’s happened. I am happy to discuss and find a solution together, however, before we do that, may I ask that you please calm down.
This will help us both to find the solutions I want to get for you. Is that ok? And everyone I’ve asked in this order has , almost always, firstly had them change their tone and said yes, agreeing for me to be able to speak. To which you can proceed with getting a discussion and solution going.
It’s not always easy, as we don’t like confrontation as humans, however we do have a choice for how we want to respond and interpret how other people are communicate with us.We have a choice to decide how we want to feel and communicate with others and ourselves.
Which leads us to tip number 2!
2. OWN OUR MISTAKES AND ERRORS
We’re all human and it’s human to make errors of judgments and mistakes. If we make an error or mistake.
- The fastest way to move to a resourceful solution, is to own it!
- Listen and let the other person speak and share what they have to say. And if they are upset because of something you did or involved with.
- At the appropriate time, apologise humbly. Arguing and defending our reasons why we did it, only causes the other person more stress.
Then if there is a way to bring a solution to the error made. Ask them would you mind if we could talk and find a solution? Or you could ask, what would they propose be done to help rectify the situation?
If they agree, find or present a solution. Thank them for taking the time to share their frustrations and for giving you the opportunity to make ammends. Then what ever you agreed you will do to rectify things, do it promptly and to the best of your ability.
We have a choice in life when we make errors of judgement especially if we keep beating ourselves up because we keep making the same mistakes over and over never considering why it keeps happening.
Be honest with ones self, to face the truth of, cause and effect! If I keep doing X, I am going to keep getting Y!
If I want a different result, I need to start taking different actions.Which leads to the new actions, which is all about taking responsibility for our actions, see it as a learning, reviewing how it happened and consider and take the steps you need to, so this doesn’t keep happening and what you do want to happen starts to show up instead. Such as receiving calls from happy clients or family members or coworkers inviting you to events or saying thank you for the good deeds you did.
3. WHAT WE PUT OUT IS WHAT WE GET BACK
If we experience people are more times than not, angry, talking rudely to us, being unrealiable, or not listening and talking over us.
Consider where or how we are conducting ourselves in ways that could be considered…
- Rude and abrupt when speaking with others?
- Do we talk over others?
- Do we not take the time to listen?
- Are we late for meetings?
- Do we not get back to people in time or at al
Deciding how we want to be communicated with others and be treated starts with ourselves first and how we conduct ourselves and communicate with others. If you feel everyone is letting you down, to only reflect on the fact that you are quite consistent at being let and cancelling at the last minute, could be worth possibly reviewing some changes of behaviours!!?
Be the person that acts and does things in ways as to how you want want to be treated and show up in the ways people you admire with how they conduct themselves. And as I learn this simple change of behaviour, it’s funny how others just seem to be changing, before my very eyes! 🙂The way we are being is how we want to be communicated to and the energy we put out into the world is what we get back from the world.
4. REBOOT THE OTHER PERSON
If a client is upset about something that nothing you do, to assist with trying to console them or have them calm down.Allow for space for the other person and maybe yourself to Reboot.
Like a computer, sometimes it’s best to just turn it off and let it reboot and come back later. At times we experience people who are so upset or won’t stop talking. Without wanting sound sexist, but only from my experience as a man, if my girlfriend has been upset over something, I’ve learnt the best way to deal with it is to just let her get it all out and it’s all just to heated, to just say let’s give this space and discuss when we both feel we are in a better place. This is extremely challenging to do but it works. And this goes both ways, if you’re the guy getting all upset with your girlfriend or wife.
I would even add to this tip in here, even if they want to argue, stand your grand and so no, I’m sorry if I have caused you to feel angry and upset, I hear you and when it’s all calmed down, we can talk then and remove yourself from the room. Maybe go for a walk or to some other part of the house.
Reboot them, by letting them speak it all out and politely acknowledge them as they speak. ‘Yes, I hear you. Mmms, sorry to hear that.’
Then when they have got it all out. You can politely acknowledge where they are at and to suggest if it would be better to discuss the matter now or another time?
For example: Thanks John for letting me know all this. I can hear you’re upset. Maybe I suggest we discuss this another time? Or, if you want to discuss now, we take a quick break and then discuss it?This REBOOT approach helps give space for the fury to wind down and for me personally the more I apply this technique the more enjoy the feeling of being on the front foot and able to communicate in a matter I can reflect on later in the day and feel good for how I managed it for both the other person and myself. Which once upon a time was the complete opposite.
5. DELAY OUR CONTACT AND RESPONSES
When we find ourselves in situations where we are upset and angry and want to email or text someone, it’s always best to delay our communication. Until we calm down and have a clear head.
We can also run by another person what we are planning on sending to get an unemotional perspective on what we have written and if it has any form of rude or attaching tone to it.
Always always after delaying our responses when in a heightened state will prove to be an extremely helpful in delivering a much more mature and appropriate message. Or in some cases the message not having to be sent at all.
Saving everyone lots of undue stress and also keeping our own level of professionalism and reputation in tact. And it’s much more effective to by nice and respectful to others regardless of the situation.Remember, the more update you are when thinking about sending that email or making that call, the more time you should take to let logic ease in. Is what you’re upset about, true or is it your imagination taking over. Consider the facts and decide on what is really going on and consider what could also being ongoing on for the other person. How often I’ve waited to send a email or text when upset, only to find myself thanking god, the universe and the trees, for not sending that email when was going to.
6. ASK INSTEAD OF TELLING
Trying to tell someone something when they are not listening or doesn’t want to listen can be extremely frustrating, especially if we have a need to be heard or tell them or perspective or what we think is best for them.
If it’s important to all of us to get someones attention and to listening to what we want to propose to finding a solution quickly, or to give our side of the story.
A much easier and more productive way to communicate, if you’d like to try, is to use the power of structured questioning.
Some examples include:
The client is saying something along the lines of …. “I can’t understand why you did that. And why did you do that. I wanted it that way and that way. And I think we should do this this way.”
You can respond with:
Thanks for sharing. If I may just ask, when we spoke I remember you saying you wanted to make sure you got_______? Is that still what you want?
The client says: Yes. You respond with: Ok thanks. And I also think you said you wanted to make sure you had _____ this _____ and this? Are these still important to you?
The client says: Yes.
You can respond with: Ok that’s good to clarify. May I suggest we discuss why I did those things and how we can move forward so you’re happy and we achieve the results you’re wanting? The client will in most cases say: Ok, thank you.
The reason being, we are working with them to bring clarity and structure to the communication and the brain is much easier to work with when asking questions as apposed to trying to tell it what to do.Asking, then suggesting. Asking, then suggesting. Pratice this approach and gauge if it’s proves to be a much easier and more productive way for you to communicate and achieve a positive outcome.
Responding to a person telling us something with questions, firstly defuses the situation and secondly puts you back into the drivers seat and allows for an easier more productive way of communication to move to a solution.
Trying to tell someone something when they are not listening or don’t want to listen can be extremely frustrating. A much easier more productive way to communicate with someone not wanting to listen or is upset, is to use the power of questioning.This way it moves away from being an arguing match and moves to a much clearly, flowing form of communication and the other person will feel heard and also from being given the opportunity to give their responses to your questioning, if done in a humble, supportive manner, will help find a solution far quicker. Try it.
7. PUT YOURSELF IN THE OTHER PERSONS SHOES
We all have those days where we are dealing with issues and when we speak with others, they get the brunt of our own personal upsets. Which we can also experience when communicating with others who are upset, angry or stressed.
To be much more effective when communicating with other when they are upset, or sounding angry or stressed, is to put yourself in their shoes and consider what they could be dealing with.
Maybe what you’re working on for them such as selling a home or setting up a loan, etc, could actually be something that is really frightening to them. They just may not have shared that with you so they don’t seem weak in some way.
If you can hear they are upset, let them speak and share. If you have the type or relationship that permits this type of question. You could ask them, ‘is everything ok, it sounds like you’re a bit upset / stressed?
Very often you will find people will snap out of their upset and apologise and share they are having one of those days.
Or if they are still upset. Yes!! I’m ok, thank you!! As I said, why you did this with loan!? That not what I wanted!
You could respond with. Sure, happy to answer that. I can hear you’re upset. How about I go through why we did it that way. Then together we can make any changes that needs changing. Hows that sound?
If they say yes, you can work together to find a solution. Or if they say no, you can ask. So what would you like me to do then? And wait for them to speak.
Empathy and understanding without reacting can be a very powerful way to have you feel in control and lead the other person to a calm more resourceful place to communicate.
8. USE OUR SUPER POWERS OF WORDS AND VISION
We all have these in built super powers, by being able to create empowering feelings and abilities by what we say and see us doing and creating in life.
If we say to ourselves enough times, we are calm, effective, solution creating communictors, it’s a good chance that the person saying this, will start to become a calmer, more effective communicator.
If you would like to start creating some new ways of being and conducting yourself, these are some affirming statements I like and use and I’ve taken some from some friends of mine who use to turn up their ways of being.As some examples of affirming words and visions
- I choose how we want to feel and see myself respond and communicating with others, regardless of what others are saying and doing.
- I am patient and always willing to let others speak and respond in calm, effective ways.
- I know everyone is doing their best and I am understanding while also polite in setting boundaries with others and how I choose to be communicated with.
- I choose to be the example for how I like to be communicated to, professional, nice and resspectful.
- I see my communication with others always being easy and productive and filled with positive wins for all involved.
- I aim to do my best and if I make an error I take full responsibility and find solutions fast.
REMEMBER COBI BRYANT
As we come to the end of this article, thank you for reading this far. And I would like to leave you with these closing thoughts. All our lives are filled with both good and very challenging situations and often we find ourselves in situations that can involved the need to navigate matters with other people.
If you’re reading this, I can imagine you’re the type of person who wants to do well and have high expectations are admirable qualities to have and develop. And to live, rich, full and abundant, happy and healthy lives.
To be good at what we do and work to provide good customer service and all that comes with working with other people and our various roles and duties.
While doing what we want to do and at times have to do, while aiming to do well and be productive and resourcesful people.
Let’s also remember how life is short and who know’s how long we got. Consider Coby Bryant, a tope athlete and movie producer and writer and husband and father, who was on top of the world, and is gone!
So while wanting to be better and a good person and also communicate well with others and be treated as we would like to be treated. Lets remember to have fun, see the silly side of life and people and some times not take things so seriously. Because really, unless its seriously worth getting upset by, will it matter tomorrow or in a year?LIFE IS SHORT, LET’S LIVE IT WITH A LIGHT, GRATEFUL PERSPECTIVE, FOR IT ALL, THE GOOD AND THE CHALLENGING. IT’S ALL THAT COMES WITH THE JOURNEY OF LIVING ON THIS PLANET.
Thank you, I hope you found some helpful tips in this article. I’ve realised, living your ideal day and life is not when you have that thing, more money in the bank, or the job advancement, your ideal life is today!
Sending you good wishes and the desire to always want to keep learning.
Trevor Russell is a Mobile Business Leader Aussie Homeloans, he speaks and trains in the areas Business, Sales, Leadership, Money Management.
Working in both executive and self employed roles, in financial services, sales, management, advertising, marketing and events. Trevor enjoys speaking and writing on topics to help people navigate through the complexities of career, business and health and good mental health.
Based in Queensland Australia, he loves the work he does to support others and he is passionate speaker and writer and has some big goals for his life and is very motivated to help others achieve their goals and dreams.