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Wendie’s Weekly Diary – Influencing Skills

“I wish all your family were dead”.

So said a less than satisfied caller as she slammed the phone down on a lovely Helpline assistant that I worked with this week. The Helpline assistant had been politely and patiently trying to explain that the caller would not be entitled to receive a payout from her late ex-husband’s insurance policy.

It’s hard not to react when another person attacks. We’re hard-wired with a ‘fight or flight’ trigger when we come under fire.

There are, however some basic things to remember, when dealing with ‘difficult’ customers:

  • There is no such thing as a ‘difficult customer’ – only a customer who is in a difficult situation.
  • We have all been someone else’s difficult customer at some point – it doesn’t mean we’re not nice people the rest of the time – someone, somewhere loves us!
  • People in difficult situations do not always behave in the way we’d prefer – they make the best choice they can at the time – which might not be the choice we’d make in the same situation.
  • There is always an underlying reason for the way a person behaves. Even if we can’t accept their behaviour, we can usually empathise with the cause (in this case; shock, confusion, grief and mourning – the lady’s ex-husband had tragically been murdered abroad).

Dealing with difficult customer situations on the telephone requires skill and resilience and I greatly admire those who do this well. more…

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28th June 2010, 3:11pm

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Category: Weekly Diary

Wendie’s Weekly Diary – Conflict Managment

conflict managementConflict Management

I can’t see the sea. Which is disconcerting as it was there 20 minutes ago.

I am on my balcony, observing the smog that now hangs above the beach; the product of a thousand disposable barbecues that seem to have been lit in unison by the throng of holidaymakers below.

All day, snippets of arguments have drifted through my open window.

  • “Darren, I asked you to put sun cream on me, not cover me in sand”…”We’re on the bloody beach Danielle, what do you expect?”
  • “Joshua, I will not tell you again…GET-OUT-OF-THE-SEA!”…But, Muuuuuum, we’re at the seeeeeea-siiiiiiide, you are SUPPOSED to go in the seeeeeea.”
  • “Brian, don’t put the windbreak there. I’m sure those young girls don’t want you ogling them all day!” .. “I wasn’t ogling them, Maureen” ..“Oh, so you have noticed them, then?”

But now…it’s all gone quiet.

It seems that the little parties on the beach that have been bickering all day have been reconciled, and all for the price of a packet of sausages. more…

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21st June 2010, 3:21pm

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Category: Weekly Diary

Unaccustomed As I Am to Public Speaking

So you have to give a presentation and even though it’s three weeks away, you’re already having palpitations.

It’s okay. You’re not alone. The stress that many people feel when they have to speak in public is right up there with bereavement and divorce. Even the most accomplished managers and leaders can break out in a cold sweat when faced with a row of expectant faces.

Think Training & Development believe that to give a great presentation, you simply need to remember one thing the majority of communication is non-verbal. more…

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14th June 2010, 9:22am

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Category: Press Releases

Wendie’s Weekly Diary – Executive Coaching

Executive Coaching

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” – L P Hartley

Executive Coaching is often used by people who are already on the up, but want to be the best they can be. Usually, however, we find that there is something holding them back. This was never more the case than when I conducted one of my first coaching sessions, twenty years ago.

A young girl had spotted a job opportunity that interested her. She approached me for advice.

“I’m too young”, she said as an opener. True, if she got the job, she’d be the youngest in the team by about ten years. I asked what experience she could bring to the role.

“None” she replied. “I’ve no qualifications”. It turned out she had not gone to university as it wasn’t affordable and neither could she afford to take the exams required to get this job. “I’ve no money” she shrugged. I asked why not.


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10th June 2010, 4:49pm

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Category: Weekly Diary

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