I was scrolling through one of my Facebook groups and came across a great question from one of my clients.
He said, “What do you do when you’ve had a $#!% day with customers being pains-in-the-a$$? What’s your first de-stress move?”
I’m sure we’ve all had days where things didn’t go how we wanted them to, and I’m really glad that he asked the question.
In every business, everyone experiences difficult clients and customers who make your job about 10 times harder than it has to be.
After a long day of working with them, it can be enough for you to lash out, or crawl into a hole and cry your eyes out.
Here are 3 moves that will help you bounce back after having a miserable day:
Change your state
If it’s been crap, we need to shift you before we even think about fixing the issues long term. There’s obviously a short-term fix, and there’s a long-term fix.
The first short-term fix is to change your state. And that could be all sorts of things. It could be whatever makes you happy.
For me, if I’m on the phone or on Zoom doing Facebook stuff, I need to get out and do something else sort of change channel, usually and go from mental to something physical or soulful —hang out with friends, go for a walk, have a swim, get drunk —whatever your thing is, completely fine.
Ask yourself, “Where was I uncomfortable yesterday?”
Number two, there’s a question that I learnt from Alex Charfen. He’s a great client, a really good coach, who in his daily planning process has a question which says, “Where was I uncomfortable yesterday and what was it about yesterday that made me feel uncomfortable?”
You’re going to probably get pretty clear that there’s some stuff that frankly, you don’t want to ever happen again — they were complaining or they didn’t take responsibility or they didn’t do their homework or they showed up late, or whatever the thing was, let’s get really clear on what was the thing that made you uncomfortable.
And as soon as you’ve got that clear, then, I think the process is to ask for some help.
Reset some boundaries and ask for some help from maybe your team, and certainly from the client.
Communicate boundaries with your client
So, the third thing I think what we do is once we figured out where you’re uncomfortable is to get clear about what’s your expectations and boundaries are, and communicate them with the client.
Step boldly into the unknown and have the conversation like, “Hey Bob, I was thinking about our call yesterday, and I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern. We have these conversations, we come up with a plan, and then you don’t do the homework. And I just wanted to have a conversation about that because it feels like we’re having a conversation about stuff and not implementing any of the solutions that we both come up with together. And it feels like, frankly, that’s not a good use of your money or my time. So, let’s have a conversation.”
And I think the moment you can get real with a client like that, the moment you can figure out what’s actually going on, and have the conversation that’s uncomfortable and awkward, that’s the moment that magic happens.
Sometimes, you both agree, “You know what, let’s not work together.” And then call it, and move on. Sometimes, that happens. But more often than not, it’s the wake-up call that a client needs.
Every time I’ve had one of those “This isn’t working. What’s going on?” conversations, the client has responded positively. They go, “You know what, I felt it, too.” And in some cases, we just decide to part ways happily.
Most of the time, it’s like, “You know what, you’re right. I haven’t been playing for one” or “This has been an issue,” or whatever we can come to, we can figure out what’s going on and fix it.
- Change your own state.
- Ask yourself, “Where was I uncomfortable yesterday?”
- Communicate with the client about what happened
I learnt from a great client and an incredible coach called Noel Lloyd in Seattle that at the end of a coaching call, they work out what their homework is, and here’s what he says, “So, these are your 3 pieces of homework, 1, 2, and 3. Are we clear about that?”
“Do you know what to do?”
“Can you do it?”
“When will you get started?”
That’s your ticket to the next call. I reckon that’s a little bit ninja.
I think that un-stressing from a S#!¥ day is one thing, but making sure it doesn’t happen again is even better.
Hopefully, that helps you.
This is Taki from #askTaki, out.
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