Have you ever needed to make a phone call to resolve a dispute, correct a billing error, or report a disruption in service? And have you ever been really, really angry when you made that call?
If so, the call probably didn’t go well. Maybe you lashed out at the person who answered the phone and they in turn did very little to help you resolve the problem. Maybe they even made it worse. Maybe they put you on hold for a long time, hung up on you, or kept transferring you to endless other reps who also did nothing to help you solve the problem.
I have learned that being calm and rational before making phone calls like these dramatically increases the likelihood of solving the problem quickly and efficiently.
A good example is something that just happened to my husband and I. For the past several months we’ve been making monthly payments to our local hospital, paying down a balance we owed from some tests my husband needed.
Despite our perfect payment history, the hospital sent our account to a collection agency. Man, was I MAD about that! I was very tempted to pick up the phone and scream until someone corrected the error, but of course I knew that wasn’t the best way to go!
So I took a few minutes to tap on it before I picked up the phone.
I tapped: “Even though I’m really furious that they would do this to us… Even though they had no right to affect our credit negatively… Even though I’d really like to give them a piece of my mind right now… Even though we’ve been paying on time and they still did this to us…”
Within fifteen minutes of tapping, I felt completely calm and relaxed about the situation. I called and spoke to a very nice woman in the billing department and she agreed that it was an error, and even offered some ideas about how and why it may have happened. She then promised to submit the file to a manager to have it withdrawn from collections.
If I hadn’t tapped before making that phone call, the outcome might have been very different. My negative attitude might have made the situation worse.
The old adage is true: “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”! It pays to be kind and calm when trying to resolve a problem. If you scream and yell and demand that the problem gets fixed, you might make it worse.
The next time you need to resolve an issue, try this yourself! If you feel any negative emotion at all: fear, anger, overwhelm, frustration…take a few minutes to tap before you pick up the phone.
Tap on whatever bothers you the most: “Even though I’m scared about what the doctor is going to say to me… Even though I’m so mad that they cancelled my account… Even though this billing error has been unresolved for months… Even though I don’t have the money to pay this bill yet…”
Then tap through the points while focusing on the way the problem makes you feel:
“I feel so angry…”
“I feel so overwhelmed…”
“How dare they treat me this way…”
“I’m so upset about this…”
“They need to do something about this…”
Take deep, cleansing breaths every few rounds, and keep checking in to see how you feel! Within a few minutes you should notice that the intensity of the emotion is dropping and it will keep dropping the longer you tap on it.
Eventually, you’ll feel completely calm about the situation, and that’s when you’ll be ready to address it rationally and peacefully, and increase your chances of actually resolving the issue!
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