Get your point across

When people won’t listen, you need to focus their attention. Use the Broken Record technique to do this.

This technique involves repeating your message until it is heard. The name ‘Broken Record’ refers to what happens when old fashioned vinyl records are scratched – the needle of a record player loops over the same section of the recording indefinitely. There are six steps involved in using Broken Record.

Read more

Handling irate customers

Nobody likes dealing with angry customers. But if you work in customer service, it’s part of your job.

Here are four tips that make talking to angry customers easier.

Remember that customers aren’t always right

No. The old saying isn’t true – customers aren’t always right. But they are always customers. Without them, you wouldn’t be in business. So treat all customers respectfully, even when they’re wrong. Never say “you’re wrong,” “that’s wrong” or “you’ve made a mistake.” Words like this trigger a shame reaction – which many customers deal with by becoming angry. Instead say “I’m sorry you got that impression,” “I’ll talk you through what happened” or “I’d like to clarify something.” Quickly move on to solving the problem, rather than dwelling on what caused it.

Read more

How to ‘call’ bad behaviour

Psychologists recommend ‘calling out’ passive aggressive people on their tactics. How can you do this without creating conflict?

There are four steps involved in calling out poor behaviour assertively and calmly.

Read more

Break the rude email cycle

Terence was furious. He’d just received another abrupt, demanding email from his colleague, Tamara. He was fed up with her tone.

Terence came to me for advice on how to handle Tamara. Over three coaching sessions, he learned how to manage her behaviour professionally and assertively. Here are the steps Terence used to request that Tamara change her ways. You can use the same steps to handle colleagues who send rude emails.

Read more

Trish needed to break news her clients didn’t want to hear. She wondered how to make the process easier.

Although Trish was an auditor, her question was one many professionals ask. Doctors, lawyers and Human Resources practitioners are just three examples of people who regularly need to deliver unpopular messages. Does your work involve breaking bad news or giving critical feedback? Then you’ll be interested in the advice we gave Trish’s team in their custom-designed training program.

Read more

Rapport building improves business results: A case study

If you want better results with people, learning how to build rapport can reap great results. Take Craig, for example. He was a freelance IT consultant who wanted help in getting on with his clients. Craig had difficulty managing his clients’ expectations. For example, he was frequently irritated by clients who ‘couldn’t’ describe what they wanted. What he wasn’t acknowledging was that people who could outline their needs accurately probably wouldn’t need his services in the first place!

Read more

Replying to rude emails: your chance to look professional

Yes, reading a rude email can push your buttons. But before you hit ‘reply’ remember that this is your chance to look good. Remember the power of the written word and keep your reply calm, cool and collected with these tips.

Read more

The FAST way to sort out conflict

Negotiation can be challenging, particularly in a conflict situation. Using FAST principles will help you keep the conversation in ‘okay’ mode.

Focus on one issue at a time

Difficult negotiations can be derailed by side issues. So you need to focus and keep the conversation focussed on one thing at a time. Sometimes, during conflict, the other person deliberately tries to take the conversation off-track. But you can prevent diversions by identifying the key issue which needs to be resolved.

Read more

Keep control of difficult conversations

Dreading the drama of a crunch point conversation? These four steps will help you through conversations with difficult people

Yes. Other people behave badly sometimes. But there are constructive ways you can broach tricky subjects, minimise conflict and move beyond impasses. Here are five ways to get started.

Read more

How to build rapport at work

Not sure how to connect with a client or colleague? Learning to build rapport will help.

Rapport is like glue which holds human relationships together. Being in rapport involves making a positive connection. It creates a sense you’re the same page as someone else. Rapport gets things done. And a lack of rapport can be a barrier to effective communication.

Read more