“Personal effectiveness is the core of our business.”
- Sheila Viesca, TalkShop

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Handling Difficult Situations through Diplomacy

We've all experienced talking to difficult people. At times you may want to slap them in the face but diplomacy is all about disagreeing with others and getting them to like it. It sounds like magic but here are some simple steps you can take to argue with people and get them to say "thank you" afterwards.

Step 1. Let them talk as much as they want. Anything you do or say can and will be used against you. So long as they're mad, frustrated, or angry it's a one-way conversation with them talking and not listening to anything you have to say. Instead, take the hits and endure the pain but never accept abusive language. Stand firm and let them know that as much as you want to help them, abusive language isn't going to help.

Step 2. Listen to them. In all the nagging and ranting there must have been a few clues that tell what the problem is and why they're so angry. Look for these key phrases and remember them in the next dialogue you're going to use.

Step 3. Restate the problem. After they've exhausted themselves from all the talking, tell them in a calm and decisive manner what you understood from their side of the story. This lets the client know that you've been paying attention and can understand them clearly.

Fifty bucks say you'll be thanking me later.

Step 4. Empathy (i.e., concern + compassion) is the best cure for anger, not apathy. Anything you say must show that you care. If your answer to their problem is "I don't know," or even worse, "I don't care," then you're asking for another round of nagging. Instead try "I understand, you're going through a very difficult situation," or "you deserve better, I can see why you're so frustrated."

Step 5. State your opinion. This is where the magic happens. If you did the first four steps correctly then anything you say will be accepted with open arms and followed by the words "thank you."

The hardest part is going through this process step by step. Many of us skip to Step 5 without giving the other person a chance to talk. Be still and remember that patience isn't passive; it’s a test of endurance.
By TalkShop

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