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BK Magazine BK Life
Posted by Cindy Ventrice.
Cindy Ventrice is a management consultant and workshop leader with over 20 years of experience. Through her company, Potential Unlimited, she helps organizations improve performance by improving work relationships.
When expressing dissatisfaction with a relationship, the issue brought up most frequently is a sense of not being listened to. For most of us, being heard is our first priority. Having our problem solved comes in a distant second.
Do you listen carefully? It can make a big difference. Not long ago, I was on the phone with an unfamiliar travel agent. He was very abrupt and was bordering on being rude. His bad attitude was leaking right through the phone lines.
I admit it, I found myself getting annoyed. I considered giving him a piece of my mind. I’m good at self-righteous when I want to be. But instead of lecturing him on customer service or asking to speak to his supervisor, this time I took a different approach.
I was quiet for a moment and then said, “You sound upset.” I waited. He was quiet for a moment. Then he softly replied, “It’s just so frustrating. Several people are out of the office today and the receptionist keeps sending me all of their customers, and I have to book thirty flights for my own customers before this afternoon.”
That was the whole interaction. Twenty seconds, then we finished our business. He was calm and pleasant. I was calm and pleasant. I didn’t solve his problem. I just recognized that something was bothering him and then listened. We both benefited. And just maybe, a few other customers benefited from his improved disposition as well.
Cindy Ventrice is the author of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works (Berrett-Koehler, 2003). A speaker, trainer, and consultant with over twenty years’ experience, Cindy works with organizations to solve employee morale issues. You can learn more at: www.maketheirday.com.