Have you ever worked in retail? Have you ever been across the counter from an upset customer? It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with irrational, angry, and impatient people.
I can’t count the number of times that other people have been upset with me. Years ago, I was the General Manager of a technical support center for NCR Corporation and our own employees would call in and start yelling at us. When the pressure is on…very few people are patient.
I experienced it again in January when our organization released a new software platform. When people encounter difficulty with something they need, they tend to dump their pressure on “the support guy” rather than engage another human being for help. So, it’s easy to become irritated with users who push.
But, my lead developer helped me see from another point of view:
“The people who are yelling have diagnosed something for me. They are telling me where to look for problems. So, I fix what I can find and then I look for the next thing.”
He was calm and cool under pressure because he knew there was something to be learned. He knew that their frustration wasn’t meant for him personally…and it pointed to a real problem somewhere. So, he listened intently with the goal of fixing a problem.
When people start yelling, can you stay cool and look for the problem? Or do you start yelling back? This works everywhere – not just business. It also works at home. It will help build your marriage. It will help grow your kids. It will improve your friendships.
Stay cool, and see if you can find where the pressure is coming from…
Thanks for listening.