Take a deep breath. Imagine how you want things to unfold in the best version of the future. Or ask the other person what outcome they’d like to see.
It’s not about being right.
It’s about making the right things happen.
Fantastic post by Julie Zhuo reminding us to foster alignment towards a positive conclusion.
Focus your energy into that correct outcome, even if it means pointing them elsewhere.
Full post: The First Step in Hard Conversations — The Year of the Looking Glass
I meant to post this insight from Marco Arment last year:
Some people will find things to complain about. […] You will never please everyone. You will never win that battle.
We’ll do our best in customer support, yet it’s inevitable that we’ll interact someone who is extremely upset with us.
Our patience and grace can win their hearts over; I’ve seen it many times, and we usually post it internally to remind ourselves why we carry on. (We call them “hugs”.) After a follow–up response, the customer apologizes for their crankiness, grateful for our help.
That’s why we’re some of the best in the industry. 🙂
In unfortunate and rare circumstances, when they’re angry and continue to berate us, it’s super helpful to know that we can regroup with our coworkers internally, analyze the situation, and decide that we can’t win ’em all.
“Can’t win ’em all? What does that mean?”
Our replies to that particular person will no longer help, and we close the email. If they show a change of heart and send a follow–up reply, we’re happy to revisit.
For what it’s worth, I assure you we do as much as we can before we get to that point.
If this interests you, we’d love for you to work with us, especially since we always need Happiness Engineers. 🙂