In the last post I wrote about staff not taking initiative when a customer has a problem, of following a policy or procedure. ‘Company rules are…’, this is our policy on complaints’, ‘please read this and write into our head office’. The latter often heard at airports when the passenger with the problem wants and possibly needs a result – now.
An unhappy customer becomes impatient and is frustrated, they can get louder than usual (and don’t always realise this). They no longer care about rules and procedures, ‘gimme a result – now!’. Telling them what to do is a red rag to a bull. The worst case scenario is that they will rehash old wrongs.
And what do companies and those who train people in customer service do? They teach employees to be calm, to say phrases such as: ‘if you shout at me I will terminate this call,’ ‘don’t raise your voice at me.’ Such actions merely light the fire under the potentially explosive situation. Even if the customer appears to physically walk away, they will remember. They will remember every single thing you and your organisation ever did wrong and the experience will imprint on their memory and they will tell other people.
Two solutions – as a customer it really helps to say ‘I’m sorry to bother you, but could you help me please.’ This is so disarming to most people they will help you. Even the most intractable and jobsworth people will listen and often point you in the direction of a colleague who is known to be helpful. Taking on some of the blame yourself really helps. It might not be what you really want to do, but it can help.
When you’re providing the customer service, being aware of how the customer is reacting using appropriate LAB Profile® Influencing Language is really appropriate, useful, customer friendly and will get you repeat business (at times there are customers however who make their own completely internal decisions and cannot be retained – they are a minority).
The customer knows he or she is right, it helps therefore if you are in customer service to get the aggrieved customer to listen to and understand you, start where they are – ‘I know this must be really awful for you ………..,’ ‘you may want to consider’, ‘this may be in your best interest,’ ‘may I make a suggestion?’
They want you to break the rules for them, your policies and procedures are not of the slightest interest to them. They want you to do something now. And you might well be surprised to find that at times when you’ve agreed that the situation is terrible, and used some of the LAB Profile Internal Influencing Language you may want to consider, this may be in your best interests, may I make a suggestion?. You might be surprised if you say to this upset customers, whilst I can’t get you on a flight right now, I can get you a meal to begin with (and let them know you’re not supposed to do, it’s breaking the rules just for them but you’d like to help) and I can arrange for you to use a phone privately and I can locate your luggage and I can help you to find some accommodation. Then it’s highly possible that the upset customer will calm down and will listen to you and later will let everyone know how well their problem was treated.
Don’t just believe me, try it out for yourself or ask me for some info or clues on how to find out more about this. There are tools and a tried and tested methodology.
Rosie O’Hara is one of the UK’s foremost Trainers and Consultants of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile®, Words that Change Minds. Her background is in mechanical engineering and the German language – more information on uses of the LAB Profile® for Team Building, HSE, Management, Negotiation, Market Research, Recruitment and in Executive Coaching and more contact Rosie on 07796 134081, 01224 900748, or 01309 676004 or take a look at the website click here
Anyone reading this will recognise themselves in either having been on the receiving end of this, or having had customers, clients, clients, delegates complain about this (in this case you might perceive the other person to be wrong).
This is not based on one particular case; rather it’s a summary of many different experiences, many of us will have had. Ever been somewhere where your needs are largely ignored because staff is getting things done’? Clearing tables, looking busy behind a desk or counters etc? The person you would like to help you or take you seriously is too busy focussing on the task rather than the person?
When as a customer you are unhappy, no one takes the initiative to put things right. It’s more the case that it seems too much trouble, or our procedures won’t allow that (airlines are good at this).
The member of staff of whom you expect help behaves as if you are just a downright nuisance. Sometimes they make the ‘right noises’ but then later you discover they did nothing? They say they’ll ‘pass the message’ but they don’t.
They repeatedly tell you what they can’t do, without offering any alternatives? An example of this and the previous question. We had a training room booked for 7 people on arrival there were twenty seven chairs in said room and two large tables (no tables required). We asked for the tables and twenty chairs to be removed. We were told ‘we have nowhere to put them,’ and asked ’are they really in your way?’and then ‘it makes it easier for us for later.’ I was told I was being unreasonable in my requests.
The staff whoever they are follows a set procedure, ‘read our customer policy’, ‘complain to our head office’, ‘I can’t do that for you’.
In terms of the Language and Behaviour Profile this translates as – Things, tasks, objects are more important than People – who pays the wages, affects your bottom line?
Staff are reacting – they will respond, so they don’t totally ignore you, but they are unwilling to take an initiative.
The staff and often company behaviour is that they believe that anyone who does not fit their expectations is completely out of line and odd.
These are people who would rather work alone, a common hiring error – companies ask for and hire people who can work ‘independently, at their own initiative’ – this leads to people whose preference is to work completely alone, i.e. in a darkened room with absolutely no customers around to bother them. Customers disturb them, get in the way of the things they have to do, keeping the place tidy, neat, looking good, and making life easy.
Staff only notice what is wrong or can’t be done in respect of the customer or client,
The staff are focussing on a process, rather than a service. On a linear progression that has no time, room or facility for dealing with complaints. The problem with this process is these people who have been hired to follow this process are people who once they have started, they cannot stop. Hell mend you if you interrupt them. They must get to the end of the process this is how they are made.
Recognise some of this in customer service you have received, or customer complaints you have had?
Next time ways to deal with this – from both angles
Rosie O’Hara is one of the UK’s foremost Trainers and Consultants of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile®, Words that Change Minds. Her background is in mechanical engineering and the German language – more information on uses of the LAB Profile® for Team Building, HSE, Management, Negotiation, Market Research, Recruitment and in Executive Coaching and more contact Rosie on 07796 134081, 01224 900748, or 01309 676004 or consider the information on this website here
This is a transcript of a technique that I wrote in 2010 and meant to include in my second
book ‘No More Bingo Dresses’ and for some reason didn’t.
This technique is based on modelling work carried out by Richard Royce in 1995; he modelled 3 individuals of whom I was one. I recently (2010) realised I had used and put into practice this technique far faster than ever before in my life (and now unconsciously), partly due to my knowledge and skills and experience in NLP and also partly due to the realisation I needed a faster reaction than I might have had in the past given such a “crisis” and the need for me to “move towards” to a good and useful result in life, to be “proactive”, and take control over my life.
This exercise is useful to learn in case of crisis times which may occur and also to work with individuals who are in a crisis state and can’t yet find the way out.
What follows is the practice exercise to use in a group to develop an understanding. When working with an individual, presuppose they already have the physiology to avoid too deep an association.
Sit or stand in a position where you are on your own (isolation), look down (avoidance), feel tension in your stomach and your back. There is an overwhelming blackness descending on you and everything is becoming hopeless. (Only allow this to happen for a short period of time).
Whilst still accessing this hopeless state, start to look up to the left and right, whilst doing this breathe into the blackness in the stomach, move both hands “weighing up possibilities”, slowly move the shoulders back, breathing, breathing all the time, noticing relief, noticing how everything is becoming easier, there is a way forwards, there is a way out of this. Notice how the feeling in your stomach lifts up and moves away.
Ask yourself what possibilities are there? What opportunities do I have? What happens when I make my own decisions? What will make me feel good? (Advanced NLPers will know to ask themselves “how can I make myself feel good?”).
Tell yourself – I am capable, I can be in control, I am in control.
Step outside yourself and look at the new you, you are becoming, strong and dependable, in control. Do you need to add anything to this?
Take this new you and move forwards, starting to plan, create a series of visual images of places to go, things to do. Where do I go to ask? What will I see in the future, what will that future look like, sound like and feel like? What resources do I need, which of those can I create myself?
Anchor this new you in appropriate way. If necessary go back and practise, tweak, add and change whatever is necessary.
Contact me via http://www.developingworks.com or +44 (0) 7796134081
Do you like to be told what to?
Most of us don’t usually. We want to decide for themselves.
Depending on how we say and do something (or don’t say and do it), our ideas will be considered or immediately dismissed by the other person/other people. When people are processing life, the world and the universe in this way, they are have an Internal Motivation Pattern.
When people are in Internal Mode, they like to gather information and evaluate it for themselves and hate having someone decide for them. In fact, they love to make their own decisions, based on what is important to them.
So here are the Top Ten Things to Avoid Saying to an Internal (or someone who feels that way)
Words That Close Minds
1. You should …… (almost guarantees they won’t)
2. I need to talk to you. (especially unhelpful to say to your partner in life)
3. I have the solution to your problem.
4. I know what you did wrong.
5. I know why that won’t work.
6. I told you so.
7. I have a better idea.
8. You should have an open mind about this.
9. Here’s what everyone thinks about what you did/do/will do.
10. No one is doing that any more.
Top Ten Suggested Things to Say to an Internal
Words That Open Minds
1. I have an idea that I’d like to run by you to find out what you think.
2. May I make a suggestion?
3. What would you think if we ……?
4. When you are deciding about X, what are the most important things?
5. I have an idea that may not be completely useless.
6. Here’s what I think….. what is your opinion?
7. You said that X, Y, and Z were important, so that’s why I’d like to suggest ….
8. Here is something that you may wish to consider.
9. Here is something that you may wish to avoid.
10. You be the judge.
It’s interesting to note the differences between the two approaches. The first list is mainly about you deciding for the other person, while the second encourages the other person judge for his/herself.
Which list ‘makes you feel better’? Which list do you think would get you better results?
With thanks to Shelle Rose Charvet
For more info on Words that Change Minds please click here
A while ago someone asked me how did I remember things, more importantly how did I remember to take things with me after an event, training or meeting or what happened in that meeting. I’d like to share with you.
There’s a technique known as ‘Reframing’ to create a different meaning literally around something, for example to turn a bad experience into a good one, or to notice that there is actually something positive.
Here’s a simple way to do that.
A. Remember an occasion when or where you got angry.
B. Make a picture or image of this or imagine this having happened and see yourself in the picture.
C. Now put a frame around the picture or image.
How does your response to the situation change when you put a wooden frame around it? What about a metal frame? A multi-coloured frame. An oval frame? How about a colourful frame with balloons hanging from it?
And what do we do to remember things when we’ve walked through the door?
We need to make a conscious effort to stop briefly and think about the thing we want to do, or are going to, or are have been doing. And then we need to make a mental image of this thing and place it up to our left. And looking up to our left see this thing, this object, this person, this task, this memory, then imagine seeing it in colour and see it standing still. Making sure it’s still there, move on out of the room and when you’re out of the room and doing the next thing look up to your left and see this item, still standing there. And hey presto, you’ll remember.
If you find this tricky, practice. Only perfect practise makes permanent.
And for some people you might need to place this image up on your right.
Try it out and let me know what happens for you, then walking through the door will be much easier and your memory will improve.
Forgotten to catch up after a meeting or networking?
Well most of us do at times. Some of us believe making notes will help, not so good if you then lave all your info somewhere. I recently realised that I had left all my info from one networking meeting, neatly packaged on one place on the table in the room I had been in. Fortunately the info was still there.
According to an article in Scientific American online, which being scientific has lots and lots of references and could be (for me) a tad exhausting; when we walk through a door we forget. Well actually they were interested in why walking through a door makes us forget.
The article: Gabriel A. Radvansky, Sabine A. Krawietz & Andrea K. Tamplin (2011): Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Further explorations, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64:8,1632-1645 (click here to read that) states that walking through a doorway causes what they call ‘an event boundary’ and we update our model of events in respect of what happened previously. They maintain that this ‘can reduce the availability of information in our memory for objects associated with the prior event. And then they do some scientific speak about how memory is essential (in my words) dependent on how or what we associate with the previous event. ? What does that mean, you might be asking? Well it means we need to remind ourselves in some way of what happened or was happening before we left the room.
So in my case above remembering to take all my info from the event happened because I generally (I stress the word generally) have a checking thing (or system) before I leave one place to go to another. We don’t always check because often deep in thought we move from one doorway to another and therefore onto something else.
If you would like to know more, please contact me Rosie O’Hara http://www.developingworks.com, http://www.rosieohara.com tel. 07796 134081 (What’sApp as well), 01224 900748, 01309 676004
Or are you just speaking in the best way you know how, because you are an expert on your subject and after all the that’s why they want to use you isn’t it? Well yes they do. Whoever you are contracted to does want to use you and they may well know you have the technical expertise. However they also want and need (more importantly) you to listen in a way that when you answer them they know you have really listened to them.
How might you do that?
Well ask your customer, client (significant other) ‘what’s important to you?’
Then listen, listen to their words (make a mental note, write their words, avoiding your version, write their words down, or ask for permission to record – saying you want to get things right for the client).
Then assuming you have their words, you can simply repeat their words back i.e. ‘having fewer breakdowns’, ‘having less problems’, ‘having uninterrupted work time’ and add on to their words in a ‘pass the salt kind of voice (politely)’ – what’s important to you about that?
Do this three (yes 3) times.
Your client, customer significant other will know, will feel listened to and you could be surprised, as often the first thing we say is not what is really important, the more important thing comes later.
You will have much improved information with which to work and you’ll get it right for the client and be their contractor of choice.
You may also hear about problems, about things they want to avoid. The worst thing to talk about in this case, is what they will gain or achieve, because they want to know how you will help them avoid, steer clear of, not have, get rid of, exclude, move away from these issues.
On the other hand if your client wants to know about what they will gain, will achieve from your services, tell them just that.
Try it out and things might just work better (and by the way the majority of the world of work likes things to improve, be less of a problem, easier, rather than new and different).
If you’d like to know more faster, please take a look at my LInkedIn profile and some of the Slideshare presentations on my Summary there, as well as previous articles on LinkedIn or contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please comment on this blog too.
Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and form a larger cohort than the others I’ve previously written about. (Sometimes they are referred to Baby Boomers I and Baby Boomers II with the cut off year between being 1959.)
Certainly those born before 1959 can remember Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy, the Beatles and Elvis and other massive changes to the world of politics and the music industry.
Don’t underestimate the Baby Boomers, amongst Baby Boomers there are some powerful people in the world today who have made a lasting impact. This cohort includes such people as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, Barack Obama, the Price of Wales, Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, Benazir Bhutto, Angela Merkel, Ellen DeGeneres and many, many more.
The name was given to this cohort, no one knows by whom or when to describe the generations born after the Second World War, when populations worldwide experienced a boom in births. This boom due on the one hand to partners returning home and on the other hand to the start of movement of families, particularly in Europe to countries where they were either displaced as a result of war or to which they had moved as a result of labour shortages due to war. It was now safe to have children in so many ways. It is also important to understand however the British Baby Boom was not as vast (25%) compared to the US (40%) Baby Boom and circumstances in which the early cohorts in both parts of the world grew up were very different up until 1959 (in the UK there was still rationing to a great extent). Similar applies to continental Europe as well; the world was a more austere place.
The focus here is on communication. Baby Boomers value knowledge. They grew up with encyclopaedias. If you were very lucky and your parents could afford it (or a man came round and collected weekly payments) you had the whole 15 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in the UK or its equivalent elsewhere.
Baby Boomers value face to face communication and discussing knowledge or information with other people. For them face to face communication means in person, particularly when they want to do business. They may well be as good as younger people at using LinkedIn, Twitter, video communication etc., but for many other things they like to meet you in person.
People of this cohort are rational. In their eyes there has to be a reason for something having happened. They believe in ‘commonsense’. However what is commonness to me may not be commonsense to you. These traits are not always useful as we need Emotional Intelligence or soft skills to understand others better. See this link here for some potentially useful frames for everyday life and to understand ‘commonsense better.Baby Boomers like to negotiate, not just in business, but also in life, using rational thinking this may take longer.
Baby Boomers are prone to working long hours, you work until the job is done. Even though in the UK for Baby Boomers university education was free a far lower proportion of over 50s actually has a university degree and would therefore have been paid less for longer hours. They have also either not accrued a pension pot or one that is not generous, due to belief that the state would provide after all their years of hard work.
They are however more loyal to a company or organisation it can take a lot for some of them to change their loyalties. Loyalty is everything and money will motivate them to stay as opposed to younger generations who will move for more money and are not as loyal to a company or brand (there will always be exceptions). Baby Boomers are driven by the fact that their parents probably had little money and struggled to provide them with the material things they needed in a changing world. The change for them was just as monumental in their growing years as for other generations, but slower than in the current day and age. It has in some circumstances led to some Baby Boomers wanting and having everything material, facts that can lead to some bad press for Baby Boomers – in the words of Mike and the Mechanics in the song the Living Years ‘Every Generation Blames the One Before.’
So how would Baby Boomers like to be communicated with? You will find some who do not like change, some who may refuse to adapt. A major change once every ten years might work for them but they are happier when they take charge of the change themselves once every fifteen to twenty-five years. They like to hear what things have in common, what has not changed as well as how things are the same. Others will accept change once a year if the change is not drastic. They need change once every five to seven years. They like to hear that things are the same except more … less …better. They tend to resist major changes except when they are perceived to be gradual. Upgrades are okay because they are about an improvement new and different is not (think of those people you know who still have a mobile phone that’s like a brick and who has a smarter smartphone).
They like to talk about people and name them and meet with you regularly. They like to be given praise and told how valuable what they did or said was. They follow procedures and processes well. They value their own territory of responsibility and when needed will work together with others. They appreciate an understanding of others and how they are thinking and feeling (they don’t always get that right, because unless they have truly learned to understand others from the other person’s point of view, they only understand how they themselves would feel).
If you’d like to know more contact me Rosie O’Hara the Developing Works website, or via my Coaching Website tel. +44 (0) 7796 134081 (What’sApp as well), +44 (0)1224 900748, +44 (0)1309 676004. And please comment on this blog too.
Maturity plays a large role in many different aspects of life. To achieve in your career or work environment, it’s important to be mature and surround yourself with similar people. If you have the misfortune to work in a place where there is a lot of gossip, messing around and other immature behaviour going on, it may be hard to succeed or achieve your aims in your job. Even worse, you might become a part of this behaviour and lose any sense of professionalism that you had in the first place. Having fun at work is completely possible and a legitimate desire for many people. It’s important to realise that there is such a thing as having too much fun that then leads to your success being hindered by your actions and behaviours.
The best work environments are those where there are no tangled webs of gossip and relationships that keep people from being productive. These behaviours show signs of great immaturity on the entire company’s part.
Like the girl at the soft play area recently where I was with my grandsons –
As soon as we walked into soft play area we saw this – near the entrance is a tyre-like swings, but now they are more like a shell in which 2 children (sometimes more can sit). Children just love them, it gives the illusion of control and a swing that moves on a pivot above, so little actual physical exertion required. These are popular a bit like bike or rowing machine in the gym where you can watch TV, until the bully shows up that is. In this case, the bully came disguised as a cute little girl immaculately kitted out and wearing a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ look on her face. She marched pertly up to the swing (past the whole queue), took a look at the two sitting in the swing and began push the child nearest to her out to make room for herself. Eventually the ripple effect of the force caught up with the other child and he fell out of his side of the swing. Ignoring the fuss around her, the bully looked quite content, but quickly realised she didn’t have full control of the ropes. Two more swift pushes and she was all alone in the swing, a smug smile on her face and two crying victims on the ground next to her. She was going to get what she wanted regardless of who was in her way. Some bullies never grow up and take their bad behaviour to work.
What is interesting is that in applied psychology we talk of the ‘secondary gain’ or ‘positive intention’, the unconscious ‘reasoning’ behind why we do something. The thing that our action gets for us, sometimes however whatever that is that we get is non-apparent as we grow up, grow older, become more mature. At some point in our life this behaviour, or maybe what is now seen as a dysfunction worked for us. It got us something (or at least the illusion of a pay-off), but as we grow older, as adults eventually these behaviours cost us more than they actually get us (although we may not see this at the time).
There is a technique called the New Behaviour Generator please contact me if you would like a copy of how to do this- contact me via http://www.rosieohara.com or http://www.developingworks.com or phone 07796 134081
Four methods to help you let go of holding onto negative thoughts:
1) Go to the balcony
Mentally imagine you’re on the balcony (or take a helicopter view, or fly on the wall) and view the scene from that detached position. What’s it like now? Was someone playing games? How will you approach it differently next time?
2) Force field
Imagine there’s a force field between you and the other person. Anything they say bounces off the force field. In future remember that the Force Field can always be there, keeping others’ thoughts, perceptions, words away from you.
Imagine you have a balloon in which you can put all unwanted emotions and feelings. After you have filled it, watch it float up and way taking those unwanted emotions and feelings, floating up until it hits the stratosphere. Gone.
4) A circle of excellence or confidence
Click here for an audio file, free to download.
Now The Future
Straight in front 2 metres to your right
Think of these images you have freeze framed, where will you put them, peg them, stick them or…. on your timeline? Perhaps you can see a vague picture, or you have a symbol for it, perhaps you need to step onto your Timeline and walk forwards to that point and experience the sounds and feelings associated with that experience.
Notice where you will put these memories on your Timeline.
What do you need to do to keep them still? Add a colour? A sound? A tag or tab? What works for you?
1. Stand in the “now” position.
2. Notice how you need to represent these things or events in your future, in different places on the Timeline.
3. What resource state (states) will you need to do this? To achieve it?
4. Once you have a resourceful state or states, ‘anchor’ them by pressing your thumb and finger together – now give this resource state a colour, hear a sound/sounds with it and feel the resourceful feeling flowing throughout your body.
5. With that resourceful state now step on your Timeline in the Now
6. Imagine the resource colour as a mist, permeating and colouring all of your future Timeline.
List below the things you want to do on the left and the right when you will have done them by:
Want to do Date to do by
Like some help with this? Join us in Aberdeen for the Saturday Coaching Club click here or phone Rosie on 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.