If you’ve ever dealt with drama involving a member, you know it’s usually because they’re upset about something. Most likely the problem isn’t your fault, but now you have no choice but to deal with it. Unfortunately, this is going to happen from time to time. Here are some tips for the next time you have to deal with a difficult member.
Allow them to vent: Sometimes people just need to blow off steam. Something happened that rubbed them the wrong way, and they want a chance to complain. It may not even have anything to do with you. If you allow them to have their say, this will often subdue them. You may not agree with everything they have to say, but it’s important that you listen so they know that you understand their problem. Whatever the issue, make sure they know that their voice was heard. You might not have the answer that solves the problem, but you can be supportive.
Show them you care: Listening well is critical, and giving positive feedback is also important. You can show empathy through body language and eye contact. If you repeat back some of things you hear, you’ll reassure them that their opinion is being considered.
Remain calm: No matter how upset they are, always keep calm. It’s far too easy to let someone’s intensity rub off on you, so be mindful of this if the conversation starts to escalate. Your calm demeanor can have a similar effect on them. By keeping your cool, you can help ease the tension.
Make it snappy: If their issue is something you can fix, get it done quickly. The faster you solve their issue, the quicker they will be satisfied. At this point, not only have you fixed their problem, but you’ve done it with exceptional service, which may even turn your disgruntled member into a happy one.