How to Stay Positive in Negative Business Situations
Unless you live on a deserted island, there’s a good chance you’ve dealt with a negative situation at least once in your life. Whether it was at work, at home or out in your worldly travels, someone has crossed your path with a less-than-favorable attitude and attempted to rain on your parade.
These situations, although unfortunate, are a normal part of life, especially in the business world. Unsatisfied customers happen, grouchy coworkers are inevitable; even something as innocent as a social media post can spark an adverse reaction. That’s why it’s super important to arm yourself with the tools needed to thicken your business skin, letting the negativity of others have little to no impact on your attitude.
How do we know this is doable? Experience.
Yes, even the most successful of business people will face negative situations at some point in their careers; here’s how they deal with them:
They Kill Them With Kindness
Not to be taken literally, of course, this expression, along with the saying, It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters, should be at the top of the list of things to remember in business.
- Think about the last time you faced an unhappy customer… Did your response help or hurt the situation? Your ultimate goal is to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
- It’s true that negativity breeds negativity, which is why it never works to match someone’s poor attitude with the same. Always stay positive and keep in mind that everyone has a bad day from time to time and the only real cure is a bright outlook.
- Don’t take it personally or get defensive; realize that anger typically stems from feelings of hurt and getting defensive often leads to misunderstanding or miscommunication. Simply maintain eye contact, smile and take a deep breath, if necessary.
They Cut to the Chase
Don’t let the issue linger or go unresolved; find out what the problem is and diffuse it quickly.
- Listen intently, with the goal of learning what the problem is. We have a tendency to listen with the intent of responding, not with the goal of actually hearing what the other person says. This means we often miss what the real problem is. Calmly listening to what someone is the best way to diffuse the situation.
- Once you learn what the exact problem is, figure out how to solve it. In other words, learn what they want. If it comes down to it, ask them directly what they’d like to do from here, then you can use that information to gauge your response. Oftentimes, a company will have a policy or procedure already in place to cover certain issues, which will make the next step easier.
- Resolve the problem by giving them what they want, within reason. Whether it’s a refund or exchange, to cancel their order, free product or even just a listening, attentive ear, do your best to provide it for them. Obviously, you don’t want to make any promises you can’t keep, like free product for life, but it’s important to meet reasonable requests.This is the best way to diffuse the situation and satisfy the customer.
- And having satisfied customers is paramount in business, regardless of the industry. In these technological times, there are so many ways for people to voice their opinions and give reviews of your company that one negative situation handled poorly can ruin your company’s reputation. Think about it…just one social media post made in anger has the potential to reach around the world–yikes!
They Grow From It:
There’s no denying it happened, now the only thing to do it learn from it. Find a way to turn the negative situation into a positive one.
- Like in all aspects of life, it’s about learning from our experiences and working to avoid the same issues happening again.
- Make changes, if necessary, to internal processes, programs and how your company handles them. For example, if the problem was that the customer received the wrong product, take a look at your internal order-fulfillment process and consider expanding on it.
- It’s worth updating employee training; attend a workshop or seminar centered around customer service and how to handle the tough days at the office.
- Implement new procedures on as as-needed basis. In business, you learn as you go in a lot of ways, so it’s important to acknowledge when you may need to make room for new ways of seeing and doing things.
myheartcreative, a local Oklahoma web design studio, knows all about building a small business from the ground up and everything that comes along with it. Even the dreaded gritty days.
We know life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but we firmly believe in focusing on the positive (and how to always remain optimistic) in life and in business. Obstacles and bad days are a given, but the secret to success lies in how you deal with them.
Interested in myheartcreative? Read more about us and our journey.
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