10/13/08

How do you resolve problems with people?

I’ve been reading The New Gold Standard by Dr. Joseph Michelli and there’s been several thought provoking concepts presented on service. However, the one that really got me thinking about my different work experiences, and somewhat communicated the heart of the book were the following points. Share a genuine and compassionate reaction to the person’s distress. When I read that, the first thought that I had was how often do I empathize and how often do I start off justifying or trying to explain why someone experienced what they did. When I wrongly read someone in distress, I find that rather than helping to solve the problem I make it worse. I’m reminded of a table I waited on. It was eleven people, or I should say approximately four adults and seven kids. With the purchase of every happy meal, the kids were supposed to get a free drink, milk or soda. However, when I approached the table and started asking for drinks the head of the table interrupted my service and said, “Just waters for everyone.” I asked him if he wanted waters for the children as well. He affirmed his statement and said, “Yes, waters for everyone.” I thought, alright that’s easy. Upon receiving the bill, he asked me where the children’s drinks were. I said to him, “Sir, when I greeted the table, you informed me that everyone was having water, including the children.” It turned into a game of I said he said, and to make a long story short, I got the children’s drink orders and brought them back, and might have gotten a better tip had I not have argued with the guest. Offer appropriate apologies. I’ve found that one of the best ways to apologize is not to simply say sorry or I apologize, but to repeat back to the person what you are sorry about and more importantly their feelings. By doing so you are affirming their current situation and their view. Which sometimes isn’t the most healthy of things to do for some people…but nonetheless helps out any situation by disarming the situation. When a person feels that you understand them, they feel safe with you and your ability to now help them in a situation. Assure the person you will take care of the issue. Once you do that make sure you take every measure to resolve the issue as well as to follow up with them to make sure that it has been resolved. Sometimes you have to repeat several steps before you get it right…but if you’re good…you’ll get it right the first time. Lastly, we sometimes think that an issue is resolved by simply talking about it and resolving it with a guest/customer/person. But it’s not resolved until we go one step further and turn that sorrow into joy. When a couple fights, isn’t the husband always in the wrong? Doesn’t he always then bring home chocolate, flowers, or take his wife out for a nice dinner after the conflict? Connect the dots! If we’re willing to go one step further for the relationships that matter the most to us…shouldn’t we do the same for the relationships that have possibility to potentially mean the most to us? When I was a waiter I was told that for every bad experience, a person will tell approximately seven people about that experience. But for every good experience, they will only tell two people…that’s exponential! P.S. Sorry it’s been a while…

1 comment:

Joseph A Michelli said...

Justin-
I am honored that my new book was able to provoke such genuine thought and concern for the ways you can engage people in your own life. By sharing your favorable thoughts about my book with your friends and family through your blog you are making a significant contribution to its success. "Be the Standard!"
I am in your debt-
Joseph Michelli