No matter what type of industry you are in, or in my case, what type of business coaching clients I’m working with, at some point every person is going to encounter stressful and intense situations. While we want to do everything that we can to bring our best to every interaction and not intentionally walk into a conflict-ridden situation, when intense moments arrive and we are dealing with a customer or a client that is reacting in an emotional or intense way, we must have a plan of action on how to deal with them. If we do not have a specific plan in place ready to handle heightened or intense emotions, outbursts or those occasional crazy situations that come our way, then we are more likely to do something that can be damaging to our organization or reputation. None of us want this.
I was in Starbucks a couple of days ago, and the person in front of me ordered some complicated drink, paid for it, then went down to the end of the counter to wait for their drink to be made. I ordered my standard, a house coffee with some room for creamer. The cashier gave me my coffee and I headed over to put some creamer in it. I began to hear a commotion behind me. The gentleman that had requested the super complicated drink was chastising the poor individual who had handed him his drink. He started yelling and screaming about how it was completely wrong and that this younger generation couldn’t do anything right. Instead of yelling back at the customer screaming, or even having a bad attitude, the Starbucks employee simply apologized to the gentleman, clarified exactly what he wanted and then said that he would fix it immediately.
The better you can handle someone’s urgent and unruly emotions, the more successful you can be in your business.
I was actually quite impressed with how the Starbucks employee handled the situation. It seems in our world there is so much entitlement, that it can even be hard to get good service. Although I do not agree with how the gentleman handled the mistake that was made on his drink, my business coaching training did agree with the way that the employee handled his outburst. What I saw was an employee who seemed to have a plan of what to do when the third type of situation arose, and they followed it to a tee. In your organization, you are going to need a plan of action for when you make a mistake or when you have an unruly customer. One of the suggestions that Clay has taught us on his team is to follow the B.L.A.S.T. method.
B.L.A.S.T. stands for Believe what they are saying, Listen, Answer, Solve, and Trust. This is the method that I use both as a coach with my current clients, as well as in my everyday life. When someone starts to become unruly or vocalize some sort of frustration or issue, I start by Believing what they are saying. We’ve all heard it said that perception is reality. We do understand that people tend to act from a place of belief. When I can believe what someone is saying, then I can move on to the second act which is Listen. I can listen with the intention to understand and to help. Once I have accurately assessed what they have said then I can Answer them appropriately and in a way that shows that I am here to bring solutions. I then move from answering them to solving their problem. When I am able to handle their emotions in this way, it then builds Trust in the relationship.
No matter what kind of crazy situations you encounter, or irrational customers you are going to have to navigate throughout the course of your business, the better you can handle someone’s urgent and unruly emotions, the more successful you can be in your business. Start practicing today. Look for an opportunity to handle a stressful situation by following the B.L.A.S.T. method. As you allow yourself to follow this proven path, you will quickly see that it is just another business coaching tool that can be in your belt to help you be successful. We all will encounter someone who is acting in a way that is perhaps more intense than the situation requires. Be the bigger person in this case. Believe what they are saying. Listen to them. Answer their issue. Solve their problem and allow this situation to build Trust.