Communicating with a person who is feeling unhappy about a situation may be a challenge. It is important to feel confident about your way of addressing the situation prior to approaching a client. The key to assisting a client in this situation is to determine why the unhappiness has occurred. Caregivers will be able to supply information which may shed light on how the client is feeling and what methods work to give comfort to the client.
When you are approaching an unhappy client, always obtain permission to approach by stopping six feet in front of the client and introducing yourself, telling them what your job title is, and offering your hand to the client. This will let you know how acceptable your approach is to the client.
Be sure to keep your emotions regulated during the interaction. Listen to them when they tell you how they understand the events that caused their reaction, and acknowledge their feelings. Give time to allow them to calm down. Then, you can look for potential resolution. Explore options with your client in a collaborative spirit.
For helpful tips on dealing with difficult clients who are unhappy, read the blog post “The 8 Best Ways to Deal with Angry, Emotional or Difficult Clients.”
We all get angry when dealing with difficult people, whether they are clients, colleagues or others. It’s perfectly natural, and we cannot prevent our anger from happening—we can only manage it in a healthy way. When we get angry and we must communicate with the person who has caused this anger, our emotional state can get in the way of productive and effective conflict management.
So, what can we do when we start to feel our temper rise? One helpful strategy is to draft an email to the person who has made you angry, and vent all of your frustrations. Make sure that you do not type their email address in the receiver line, because you will not send this email. Once your feelings are vented, and you’re feeling a little cooler under the collar, you can delete your email, secure in the knowledge that you have found a harmless outlet for your frustrations.
Can you think of any other helpful ways to manage your anger without derailing your conflict management?
Watch “How to Deal with Difficult People” (15m 6s), a TEDx Talk by Jay Johnson, for more strategies for dealing with difficult people.
Click here for video transcript: Video Transcript.
Finally, please remember that you are not a punching bag. If clients cross the line from unhappy and irritable to toxic or dangerous, know when to walk away. You can speak to management about your concern and ask to change assignments.