Monday, 3 March 2014

If at first you don't succeed, shout at someone !

Working in a service/customer support industry over the years I have noticed that sometimes when people experience a set back the initial response, regardless of the problem and who is to blame, they tend to lash out at the first person they can contact.

This means that often they rage at someone who either cannot help and almost certainly wasn't to blame for the issue in the first place.

As a general principle this reaction can't be very productive, if for no other reason than the person who is berated, even if they could be of assistance probably won't feel inclined to help now or in the future. Plus of course getting angry and upset doesn't help the person with the problem and makes them feel worse and less empowered.

Thinking about the best response my advice would be to do what I try to do when writing a difficult e-mail. Get everything down in the e-mail, however wild and vitriolic (for god's sake do not include the sendee's e-mail address in case you press send accidentally - that's a whole other nightmare) and then leave it overnight - you'll come to the issue fresh in the morning with some perspective and an awareness that some of the worse things you said and/or thought aren't socially acceptable or constructive - a well thought out and reasoned argument always trumps a shot from the hip. This is especially the case if you know you have to continue to deal with the person/organisation on an on-going basis.

Last thought, if the well thought out e-mail or response doesn't work - you're probably entitled to shout after all !

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