Thursday, September 21, 2006

How to Deal With An Irate Person

Open Loops: How to Deal With An Irate Person
A better approach [rather than speaking calmly to an irate person] is called Pace and Lead. The first step is to match the complainant's emotional intensity. This is not agreeing with the person. This is simply responding with the same emotions that are being presented. If a person is complaining that the delivery person scratched the new dryer as they installed it and was outraged, the customer service rep would respond in an outraged fashion: They what?!? You've got to be kidding! If that happened, it's unacceptable!! This is pacing. After matching the emotional intensity, the rep would begin to, slowly, de-escalate the intensity to a normal level, leading the complainant to a state that is more productive for dealing with the problem. This is leading.

This is good advice - I've heard it mentioned before, but it's always good to get a reminder on ideas such as these.

I for one am pretty sure Shira would see right through any tricks I tried to use on her like this. She knows me way too well, and she knows that I listen to way too many books on tape. I'm better off doing the Apology, Flowers, Jewelry ® approach with her.

Via: LifeHacker

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