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Wrapping Up a Busy Workday when Someone Still Wants Your Assistance

Successfully Ending Your Workday


The feel of your jacket sleeves brushing up your arms as you slide it on is overwhelming you with comfort. Not because it’s expensive silk or cashmere but because putting on your jacket is the sign that your work day is done. It has been a difficult day at the office and you are ready to breathe fresh air and relax. Just as you reach for the door knob of your office, the door flies open and an angry family member, disgruntle employee or unsatisfied resident barges in.


They start in with the details of their issue, not asking, realizing or even caring that you were on your way home. After working an exhausting 10 hour day, your body is telling you that you have to settle this issue quickly or else.


How do you successfully satisfy the demands of the customer and yourself? Try these 6 tips.


1. Listen. Your eagerness to get home may make it tempting to interrupt in an effort to speed the conversation along. However, if the person feels rushed, they will escalate. Also, listening will provide you with precious details that you will need for the next 4 steps. Allow the person 1 – 2 minutes of an uninterrupted download.


2. Summarize. After the person stops talking or after you ask permission to interject, give a quick summary of their issue. Make sure in the summary, you make no judgments, give no opinions or any hints of agreement or disagreement. This provides validation without alignment and security without a solution.


3. Delegate. Many times when a person is upset, they skip the middle links in the chain of command. If possible, physically walk them to the person that can handle their issue. At minimum, make a phone call to the responsible employee. Make sure they hear you instruct your employee of what specifically you want done. This again provides them with security that the issue will be handled.


4. Initiate. In a situation in which you are the person that must handle the issue, initiate some sort of action. Whether a phone call, e-mail or adding this issue to the top of your agenda for the next day, initiate something. By doing so, they are assured the ball is in motion even if complete resolution was not achieved.


5. Give a date. Give the customer a time frame for the next point of contact. Let them know when they will next be contacted for an update on the issue. Do not give a date when the issue will be resolved if you are not prepared to do so at this time. Successfully end the conversation at this stage, assuring them that proper action will be taken.


6. RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The people you serve and lead will have continuous issues that surface. By implementing the techniques above, you will be able to appropriately address their issues without robbing yourself of a healthy work life balance.