Excerpted from the book on enlightened business, Business Black Belt
I’m very easy to work with. . . just give me what I want.
If you’re interested and a bit patient, you can communicate with just about anyone.
Just like we must appeal to another’s inner child, we must also address their inner adult. In fact, you must be prepared to appeal to people in whatever state of mind they’re in at the moment. Someone could be distracted, angry, sad, thrilled—you need to be able to reach the spirit within. No matter what state of mind a person is in when they encounter you, you can usually appeal to their good side.
A few years ago, our customer service person asked me to handle a customer on the phone who was “really pissed off at us.” Before I picked up the line, I thought for a moment about what to do. It wasn’t as simple as putting myself in his shoes. I had no idea what his problem was. All I knew was that I could listen to understand who he was, what he was doing and where he was coming from. And, no matter what, he was going to be happy when I was done talking with him. I picked up the line and said, “Hi. This is Burke Franklin. I’m the guy who wrote BizPlanBuilder. Is it not working for you?” It turned out that he couldn’t get his word-processor to number the pages properly. That pisses me off too. I told him, “I hate it when that happens…,” and we worked through how to fix it. He apologized for his initial outburst and we said good-bye. A happy camper.
As you know, people often need to blow off some steam. I recommend letting their steam blow by and not taking it as if it were directed personally at you. How could you have done enough to someone for them to be that angry with you? Obviously, their anger has built up from other reasons, so why should you absorb it? What would a karate master do? Not engage the anger. Let it go by as if it were coming from my TV, then step back in as the person who is part of their solution and not part of their problem.
You’re going to have to get out of your head and determine what to say, think and do and how to be authentic to reach and communicate with them in their most favorable frame of mind.
On the other hand, I could appeal to the person in you that would be pissed off. I could appeal to the person in you that’s frustrated. Regardless of whether you’re distracted, angry, or whatever, I can either fuel your current state of mind or I can allow for it to be there but reach you inside and connect with another part of you.
It’s a matter of intention.
Underneath it all, I believe we are all fundamentally the same, and we want the same things:
• We want to love and be loved.
• We want to be taken seriously.
• We want to have fun.
• We want something worthwhile to do with our life.
• We want to have enough money to do the things we want to do.
• We want to express ourselves authentically.
If you can set your distractions aside for a moment and accept their distractions, you can reach through the facade of their mood and talk to the person inside. This is not a technique like learning the perfect script. “Gee, I see you’re angry, can you set that aside for a moment?” It’s something you have to feel. Connect your humanness with theirs.
Realize that they aren’t frustrated with you, even if they seem to be. By knowing you can, by expecting that you can, always be able to appeal to the good side in every person. Appeal to the essence of the person in everyone you come into contact with and you will usually connect with the being who wants what we all want.
Business Black Belt Notes
• Fundamentally, as humans, we want the same things.
• There is a part of me that can connect to a part of you.
• Set your distractions aside, focus on the other person, look to the person inside.