We live in an age of high demand where it has become the norm to expect things to be said, replied to, messaged, talked about, decided, delivered, created, finished, sold, received, returned, etc on-demand. My belief is that our consumerism coupled with pace of change and more competition in the market based on ever increasing global population is fuelling our on-demand society.
This high demand frequently isn’t met and because the norm has defined our sense of entitlement, there is a common tendency to be quick to agitate. It can begin to feel personal, particularly when dealing with the same people or companies. It can feel appropriate to unload your anger on whomever is the cause of the perceived agitation; the delivery driver, call centre advisor, co-worker, till operator, the list goes on. We’ve all been there.
We categorise who we are speaking to, by company, by client, by supplier, by friend, by family, etc. We use this to justify speaking or acting in a certain way, not necessarily a negative way – it’s natural to modify behaviour depending on who we are interacting with.
It’s easy to slip into a mindset of treating the person your speaking with like the service you are talking about. I.E. they are there to provide a service, ergo they are the service.
It’s easy to forget, particularly in a financial transaction, that the person we are communicating with is a human being!
You may feel yourself become irritated or angry, you may want to vent your frustrations. But ask yourself this, does the person on the receiving end deserve it and is my behaviour appropriate? 99 times out of 100 the answer will be no to both questions. You’ll be reacting to make yourself feel better, or because you believe it will get the results you desire, and it’s possible it will on both counts. But at the expense of what?
The next time you’re on the receiving end of disappointment I encourage you to stop and ask yourself a simple question.
Am I the difference between this person having a good day or a bad day?
Everyone has their own trials and tribulations and we are just trying to discharge our responsibilities, either in our jobs, or in our relationships. Sometimes one interaction can determine the course of an entire day, or determine how we look back on a day. I try to be as frictionless as possible and in any given situation. I can bark and bite when I need to, but I have no desire to be the reason someone has a bad day.
Don’t get me wrong, there are circumstances when negative reactions are appropriate, but for all the other times I guarantee that you will feel better and have a more positive experience by remaining calm and friendly.
Be the reason someone smiles today!
It’s not easy attitude to maintain and you won’t all the time, but the right path isn’t an easy path.