Onsite Insites by SatisFacts Research 2014 - 4th Quarter - Page 4

C – Control This isn’t about necessarily about controlling the situation, but rather controlling your own emotion. When someone confronts us, our natural response is “fight or flight,” meaning a rush of adrenaline releases into our systems and we are on the defense. However, in order to manage the situation effectively, we can’t allow those emotions to take over. A resident who is already worked up will escalate even more if they detect any reaction from you. Maintain a passive, pleasant demeanor, and you may see their own demeanor improve a little. A – Actively Engage We know it comes with the territory, but dealing with difficult residents can not only be draining, sometimes it can be downright scary! No one enjoys being verbally attacked or, in some cases, unfairly accused. And even though we expect the occasional interaction with a disgruntled customer, this is an area in which employees often don’t receive much coaching. While specific training and role-playing are the most effective way to prep team members for difficult interactions, having a basic strategy can often make a significant difference. When faced with an angry or upset resident, simply remember to Keep C.A.L.M. Jen Piccotti SVP of Education and Consulting SatisFacts ResearchTM Listen. Really Listen. You’ve probably heard a similar complaint before. (Or even hundreds of times before.) But to them, it may be the first time they have dealt with it. It’s new to them. And most likely, the thing that’s bothering them most about the situation is different than the thing that bothered someone else about a similar situation. Find out what’s most upsetting to them and respond to their unique experience. And most important: Apologize! It doesn’t matter if the issue is your fault or not. Let them know you’re sorry they’ve experienced something that’s so upsetting, and that you want to help. L – Like-Minded The biggest advantage you have is that you already have the same goal: to find a solution to the problem! Keeping that goal in mind, you can continue to look for common ground and work toward a resolution. Sometimes, we can’t give them exactly what they are asking for, but one of the most effective approaches is to find a way to say, “Yes,” no matter how small that yes may be. “I’m not able to offer a rent credit because of the broken sprinkler head, but I’d sure like to pay for your car to be rewashed to get rid of the water spots that sprinkler caused.” M – Me-Time This is a most neglected step in the strategy because people don’t think it’s a big deal, but it’s just as important as the other steps. After a stressful interaction, it’s important to allow yourself a few minutes to regroup “off stage.” Take a brief walk around the community. Listen to your favorite upbeat song. Call that friend that can always make you laugh. By giving yourself a few minutes to let go of that interaction, you’ll be able to approach the next conversation with a blank slate. Otherwise, you are in danger of over-reacting to the next resident or employee request that you encounter. Step away, clear your mind, and come back with a fresh start. Fortunately, most resident interactions reinforce the reason we got into this business: we get to answer questions, enjoy a chat, and help residents get the most out of their daily living experience. But during those moments of intense conversation or confrontation, it’s important to have a resource or strategy to fall back on and carry us through. When it comes to those tough conversations, just remember to Keep C.A.L.M. and Carry On!