Welcome to Today. Today's Leadership and Personal Development tip is on Responding.
Maxim: Don't React! Respond.
Many of us make resolutions for the New Year. You have probably made yours. We are nine days in. Are you on track? Are you keeping your resolution? Allow me to suggest one more to add that could bless you. Don't react! Respond.
Under the right circumstances reactions are appropriate. For example, if you are driving late at night and a deer jumps in front of your vehicle, you will need to react quickly to avoid a potential tragedy. Our men and women in combat need to react fast when their lives are threatened. However, in most situations we need to respond instead of reacting.
If you are in business and a customer goes on a tirade complaining about an important missed shipment, now is not the time to react by attacking your shipping and receiving department. Nor is it time to argue with the customer and prove that it wasn't your fault. These would be unhealthy reactions. A proper thing to do would be to respond to the situation.
As an aside, life is like a tube of toothpaste. Whatever is in the inside will come out when squeezed. In life, when we are pressured, whatever is inside of us will show up outside when we are squeezed by the vicissitudes of life. We would do well to be filled with inner peace. Someone has to keep his/her head when others are losing theirs. Will you be the "calm" in the storm. This inner peace allows one to respond to situations rather than react to them.
Responding to situations implies you have the most influence over you. Reacting to them implies the situation has more influence over you. Back to the irate customer example. To help you respond properly to similar situations consider these steps.
Allow the person to vent. People want to be heard. They need to be acknowledged. Steven Covey would say, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." You cannot effectively argue emotions with facts. Allow their (and your) emotions to subside before tying to resolve the problem. Let them get it all out.
Check for understanding. Restate the problem in your own words to ensure that you fully understand the issues. This will show the customer that you are listening and are empathetic to the situation. Make sure you are attempting to solve the right problem.
Discuss potential solutions. Engage the customer in developing solutions with you. This moves the problem from potentially being personal. A tip to remember is, "Attack the problem, not the person." If the customer is unwilling to help develop creative solutions, ask for time to meet again after you have investigated possible positive outcomes.
Implement the best solution. Remember, as John Maxwell states, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn." There will be times when we will need to lose the battle to win the war. We will need to make short term sacrifices for long term gains. Be willing to refund a customer's money in the short term to keep them as a long term profitable customer. This may be the best solution for this situation.
Follow up. Without follow up, the sales process is not complete. Even if people come to you for advice and you give it, ask them how did it work out for them. This will help you advise others and them better. Following up with the customer will help you know if what you are advocating is the best solution or not. Always follow up.
Make a resolution... better yet... make a commitment to respond rather than react to situations in 2018 and beyond.
Are you ready for more success? It's yours. Claim it. Become known as the voice of reason in your circles. Rid yourself of negative reactions and fill yourself with positive responses. That's what great leaders do. If you need help in this area, please contact me. Let me help bring out the best in you and/or your organization.
That's it for now. Until the next tip....