Each day is filled with interactions with many different people. Some we choose such as with friends and family. Others are out of necessity due to our jobs—dealing with customers, guests, clients.
Too much of the time, most complain about the latter. Especially if you’re in “customer service”—which most of us are to some degree. And that means serving others in some way and often having to solve their problems.
I’ve been there—I’m talking about the complaining part. And as much as I’ve hoped it would help to relieve my frustration, it never has. Nor has it helped solved another’s problem.
The only thing that will truly make a difference is a fundamental shift in your mindset.
Go out of your way to be a solution to another’s problem.
You Get What You Expect
I know some people can be very trying. But it’s a huge mistake to assume most are problems. The way you expect a person to be is generally what you will get.
Don’t see others—customers, clients, guests—AS the problem. See their problem as an opportunity to be a solution.
Yes, even the one that approaches you with that look—exasperated and looking for someone to vent their frustration upon. Instead of seeing him as the next pain in line, diffuse the situation with an attitude of helpfulness.
The Power Of Helpfulness
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, lived his life by what he called The 10 Foot Rule. The essence of that rule is this: when you come within 10 feet of anyone, look them in the eye, greet them, and ask if you can be of any assistance.
This became a requirement of all Walmart associates. In fact, in most cases when you ask a Walmart associate where something is, the associate will stop what they’re doing and take you to whatever you’re looking for instead of just telling you.
It’s really quite simple. And imagine how much better each day would be if the majority of us chose to be so helpful instead of just aggravated.
Be A Problem-Solver
Sometimes you won’t be able to solve a person’s problem or at least not right away. You can, however, be committed to getting their problem solved. It may be connecting them with another who has more information, experience, or authority than you.
It may be admitting you don’t have the answer but you will find out and get back to them. Then do so promptly.
By choosing to see another’s problem as an opportunity to be a solution, you not only become a shock-absorber for another, it becomes a privilege—and oftentimes even a pleasure—to get to serve another.
The Problem Generally Isn’t The Problem
We’ve all realized before that what seems to be the problem really isn’t. A person may seem angry about your product or service that didn’t work the way they wanted. But we can’t always see what else may be going on in their lives that’s really the stress point. The problem they’re bringing to you may just be the last straw.
We are equally at fault to presume most people we deal with in the course of a day are going to be a pain. We will get what we expect.
Instead, be a problem-solver. Choose to be helpful instead of just aggravated. Both you and the others you interact with today will be better off by making that choice.
Question: How do you prepare and position yourself to be a helpful problem-solver? Share your answer in the comments below.