Stop, Listen, and
see the parent or child in you that tends to take over whenever you
are in an emotionally tense communication setting?
Let's suppose you work
at a merchandise returns desk. The next customer criticized you
harshly, complaining that the wait time before being served was too
long. The customer is acting like an "angry child" (read on)
and here's how you might react if you were one of these types of
"parents" or "children":
parent is opinionated, takes control, and can be
time, come first thing in the morning; our lines are shorter
parent is protective and comforting but can't say
am very sorry. How about some coffee?" Then proceeds to agree
with everything customer says .
child is playful, creative, but can be irrational.
(giggling) "Still a shorter wait than at the emergency room
at most hospitals, ha-ha!"
child is energetic and direct but can lose his temper and
having a bad day, too, ok? What's the problem? Let's just get this
child conceals feelings and may avoid to interact.
proceeds getting information meekly while avoiding any reference
to the criticism.
When you let your
emotions prevail, you are just being you. Most times,
nothing's wrong with that. However, sometimes wouldn't you like to
RESPOND DIFFERENTLY and steer the situation TOWARDS A BETTER OUTCOME?
something I learned from Paul Witz*. When things seem to get out of control, stop, listen,
and think. That is, STOP: remind
yourself not to react too quickly. LISTEN: make an effort to
what the other person is conveying. Then, THINK: recognize what you
and the other person would like to achieve.
need to practice doing this and make it a habit because it is most
effective at the time when it is called for. I am not an expert, but I
know it works)
If you habitually stop, look,
and think, you might easily recognize if you were in this example
situation that the customer's
goal is not to attack you. He just wants to finish the return quickly.
Then you might have said:
your patience. Why don't we quickly process your return so you can
be on your way?"
This is the
"adult" in you speaking. Unlike the "parent" or
"child", an "adult" puts reason ahead of emotions.
Can you be an "adult" when it's called for? Make it a habit
LISTEN, and THINK!
- Ramon Regozo
* Learn more about Paul
Witz and his exciting company at http://www.witztraining.com/speakers_profile.asp