A man walks into … his manager’s office. His face is red, hands shaking and eyes nearly popping out of his head. He is mad about something! “This new directive is just nonsense!” He roars.
People buy on emotion. Relationships are based on emotion. What do you do when someone is really emotional? It might be a customer, staff member or spouse who gets upset. You want to calm them down so you can deal with the business issues at hand. Many people think that by being reasonable they can communicate best. However, the other person is not rational in this moment, they are emotional. When someone is emotional they are feeling a great deal and they are expressing this to you. They want to be acknowledged, seen, and heard in this moment of distress. If you make your first response to them an acknowledgement of their feelings you will go a long way to building a strong business relationship. This acknowledgment may be as simple as “Oh dear, I’m sorry that XYZ has happened” or “This has been a real nuisance for you, hasn’t it” or “Wow, I am sorry, I didn’t realise how much it has affected you” or even “Bugger!” (said in a caring kind of way). Don’t rush on with more words, pause to let what you have said sink in and give time for them to respond before going for the ‘fix it’ part of your response.