Better Results with People

Rich Drinon | Customer Service training for Techies | 1 pm, Nov 18, 2010 |

Leadership and Communication Coach: Focus on Building relationships, Achieving results, Navigating change | connecting, communicating, collaborating | perceptions, personalities, problems

Dance of Anger, Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner – Communicating as Dancing

Mix of I’s, C’s and D’s – 3 of us are I/D’s…including Janet, my former Board President (and fellow Sagittarius)!

First Impressions – First Moments – How first impressions are formed? How long does it take? Instantaneously!

  • See/Hear
  • Screen
  • Select/Decide

After you connect, you can communicate because you’ve made a favorable impression…and then collaborating, but if you make a poor first impression, there can be mis-perceptions.  So, must be assertive and take initiative to control the connection.  If you’re task oriented, you have to work at making connections – be proactive and take initiative to introduce yourself to everyone.

First impressions are:

  • Visual or Non-verbal (55%) | Vocal (authority, concern, love, humor in your voice – 38%) | Verbal (what you say-  only 7%) Verbal is more important when words matter most, during praise or criticism
  • Congruency is the key – when these 3 things match up and are harmonious, then send a believable message and are seen as our most credible.
  • Making or Breaking Points: Place (welcoming environment) | Product or Service (Navigating change) | People
  • A = Attitude – our choice, get in right frame of mind, D = Dress, E = Expression, P = Poise, T = Tone (ADEPT) – appear to be capable (hehe)
  • How Harmful Misperceptions come into Play – We treat people the way we see them, We see people the way we treat them.  Perception can become reality.
    • If you’ve made a bad impression and stuck in a negative pattern, you often don’t get a chance to do it – HOW do you do it?? Answer: The Projection Principle (a book by Weinberg and Rowe 1988)
    • When only one person perceives you a way that is different from everyone else, that’s a mis-perception or a projection.
    • Consequences – and kids
  • Dealing with Issues – what do people do or don’t do when they dislike, misunderstand, mistrust or disrespect us?
    • Avoid us, act uncooperative – break that down to observable behaviors (withhold information, lack of follow-through), look away more, step back, stink face, face hardens, void of emotion, poor eye contact, belittle, talk down,  – what behavior can be quantified – sarcastic, speak curtly, gossip, misrepresent by omission
    • Hard part is to go to the person with that item – objectively discuss the behavior and communicate the preferable behavior and “some degree of consequence.”  Ignoring bad behavior invites more of it in the future, if you affirm and recommend preferred behavior (and can do that in the moment) do you get Respect or Being Liked?
  • Changing Harmful Misperceptions
    • Recognize the problem – may catch us off-guard, so may have to deal with it after the fact.  Is there an unwanted behavior? Does the person dislike, distrust or misunderstand me?
    • Identify the corresponding behavior – Example, avoidance
    • Correct or replace the behavior – What do you want instead?  Cooperation/Collaboration/Communication/Engagement/ “we need to be able to sit down daily to talk about X, Y and Z”  If you persist, then the mental picture painted of you changes – changes the behavior.  Creates respect.
      • Sometimes you can trick people into the correct behavior – engage them, ask the bad kid to jot down a word as a ‘great help’ to the speaker and that will trick them into participating.  Take control early on.
    • Repaint the original picture with the new – How do you create esteem and repaint the original picture?  How does it work in reverse, when you get a long with the person until you work closely with them and you find esteem slipping?  Are we cutting back on the niceties? Economize in relationships? Do you need to accommodate?  Maybe you didn’t know the person well enough?


  • Recognizing, Relating, Responding (DISC)- How do you better recognize and then relate or respond to other?
    • Outgoing/Task Oriented – Dominant – Easy on on Self, Hard on Others – 10%
    • Outgoing/People Oriented – Interactive – Easy on Self, Easy on Others – 25-30%
    • Reserved/Task Oriented – Cautious – Hard on Self, Hard on Others – 20-25%
    • Reserved/People Oriented – Supportive – Hard on Self, Easy on Others – 30-35%
  • When Stressed, we go to our secondary behavioral style.  My darkside is an Out of Control Dominant
    (reckless, rude, impatient, pushy, dictatorial, conceited, offensive, arrogant, abrasive, ruthless)  Our behavioral styles are just that – it’s how we are.  We have our own language based on our style.  Need to understand it to relate to it.  So, to work with me when I’m stressed out – be direct, focus on bottom line, get to the point
  • When S’s deal with D’s – joking helps (banter)  D’s are strong willed, determined, independent, optimistic, practical, productive, decisive, leader, confident – courageous, responder, goal oriented, results, deliberate, self confident, direct, self reliant, straight forward, competitive
  • I’s – friendly, compassionate, carefree, talkative, outgoing, enthusiastic, warm, personable, fun (people magnets) | optimistic, persuasive, excited, communicative, spontaneous, outgoing, expressive, involved, imaginative, warm/friendly (Jim Carey, Robin Williams)
  • Out of Control I’s are unrealistic, manipulative, emotional, gossip, impulsive, unfocused, excitable, directionless, daydreaming, purposeless (Mickey says this is his Dark Side)
  • Communicate Tips: Warm up, Show friendliness, have fun – Need structure, details and timeliness
  • Supportive Style – positives – calm, dependable, easygoing, trustworthy, efficient, practical, conservative, diplomatic, humorous | relaxed, reliable, cooperative, stable, good listener, single minded, steadfast, softhearted, systematic, amiable
  • Dark Side of an S: lack initiative, dependent, A sucker, indecisive, uncommunicative, inflexible, resistant to change, easily manipulated (improves with Maturity), slow, resentful
  • Convey warmth, be patient and show appreciation, take a team approach, give time to process change and requests.
  • Congruent Leader (side discussion) – Immature v. Mature.  We go form being emotional to logical, reactive to responsive, from me to you and me.  Then to being integral complex view, be proactive, recognize it’s about All of us.  3 stages of growth.  How our behavioral style plays out.
  • Most librarians are S types – team oriented, how that person felt matters more than if the equipment is fixed.  Easy to make an S happy – please and thank you. Take the time to listen to them vent.
  • Are we all progressing to S’s?    Servant Leadership – religious connotations but doesn’t have to have these – valid form of leadership – Servant first, leader second – see the need, then try to fill that need
  • C’s – Gifted, analytical, sensitive, perfectionist, aesthetic, idealistic, loyal, self sacrificing, thorough | orderly, logical, intense, curious, teachable, cautious, correct, questioning, conscientious, precise – Spock and Data
  • Dark side – Critical eye (good problem solvers, but critical) – compulsive, critical, unsociable, prying, easily offended, fearful, inflexible, doubtful, worrisome, picky  – single minded
  • Tips – be factual, stay logical, remain calm and less emotional – appreciate accuracy and attention to detail. Give time to process change and requests.

Dealing with Problems

  • Muhammad Ali Technique for Defusing Angry Customers
    • You be calm and don’t tell them to calm down, listen, hope they go from emotional to logical, ask questions to help them unload, ask for solutions – shift so you hear what they want, offer solutions and give options, reach a solution and help them decide, then ask if they’re satisfied and reinforcement
    • Project – get them to take an action that is favorable, then they’ll view you in a more favorable light
    • Side-conversations:  Intimidater, Interrogater, Aloof, Poor me.  So Poor me’s bring out intimidater in you and vice versa.  Interrogater’s create aloofs – causes withdrawl which we try to draw out with questions
    • Word selection, voice, tone –
  • Karate Kid Technique for Redirecting Aggression
    • I agree and… | I understand and … | I respect and … (remove BUT out of your vocabulary)
    • Agree and then give more perspective – find a way to acknowledge and then show the other side of the story without resistance
    • Bite your tongue – BUT negates what you’ve just said
    • I hear what you’re saying… – I feel your pain…
  • Sir Lancelot Technique for Checking Your Emotional Armor
    • How to manage Professional manipulators – The customer you would be better off without!
    • Make you feel guilty, use anger to take advantage, disapproval, insecure, silent treatment, afraid to be different, fall for a hard luck story – back-handed compliments –
    • Must be discerning – are they legit or just using a strategy
  • Feel, Felt, Found Technique
    • I understand how you feel (Gen X and Y’s use this)
    • Other customers have felt the same way (or, I would feel the same way)
    • And what they’ve found is…
    • It’s a smooth technique – agree, generalize/empathize, provide a solution or alternative or option

What we learned today: Increase understanding of people, rubric for understanding ‘what the rub is’, self-acceptance, inter-personal skills, information about levels of maturity gives hope for emotional/personal growth, techniques for dealing with difficult people (would have been good to know early in the career), interesting to understand personalities for its own sake and adjust and reward accordingly, Hostile meeting person trick (how to engage the D), observable traits in behavior – what and how to address the behaviors, and easier to identify personalities.


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