What Do You Need To Walk Away With?
Do you ever notice that your attitude seems to determine the results you get? Wake up with a smile
and a positive attitude and you are more likely to have a good day. Sounds too simplistic but it’s
true. Life works like a mirror – always look for the positives and you will see them – similarly look for
the negatives and you will be sure to see those too. Of course there will be times when bad things
happen – either within or outside if your control but the choice is still yours in how you deal with
these set-backs. Trying to maintain a smile and a positive attitude can be more valuable than you
My dad always said to us, "Use your thinking cap." Now I hear myself give my boys the same advice. He was always so calm cool and collected. He spent many years in the courtroom getting witnesses to tell him things they would have never imagined before getting on that stand. He always encouraged my sister and I to outsmart our opponent.
Consider this; you are in a shop and have just received appalling customer service. You are outraged
and fuming. You know that if this was your business it would be ran differently and you wonder how
they still make money and have customers return! Sadly this is not an irregular occurrence and this
happens every day to someone. Mostly it is not totally within your control when something like this
happens and there are places where you will get shocking service. But what you can control is how
you respond. If you react to the situation with anger and just let your emotions boil over you will
rarely get the response you want. It may make you feel better in the short term but long term you
risk your dignity and perhaps a relationship with that person.
The phrase “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” comes to mind in this situation and
however you are feeling the calmer and more gracious you can be the better. Even pretending to be
calm and gracious can help lower the initial power of those strong emotions. Fake it til you make it
really works and you can trick your body into calming down if you are mentally able to see a way
The best way is to take a deep breath and acknowledge what you need to get out of the situation.
What do you need to walk away with? Is it a refund, an acknowledgement or something else?
Whatever it is make sure it is clear in your mind before you start to tackle the situation. When you
begin to speak you need to make yourself heard – calmly and politely. State clearly the problem,
why it’s important to you and what you expect to be done about it. Sometimes it’s hard to
remember that people are not mind readers and what works as a solution for you may not be
completely obvious to the other party. Once you have stated your feelings ask what you can expect
to be done about it. This may be a longer process that you really want and there may be
negotiations and sometimes sacrifices to be made. The other party may not want to acknowledge
their mistake. Search for common ground – what can you agree on? Any small agreement is a start
to building rapport which is important for getting what you want. Focus on the positives, maintain a
calm and dignified exterior and be certain about what you want. Compromise may be necessary of
course but you cannot start a negotiation if the other party does not know what you want!