Acknowledging Without Encouraging

When faced with an angry customer, acknowledge their perspective and the necessity of meeting their basic needs.

“The catch is that ‘what you focus on, you get more of’ and people are naturally less likely to continue being difficult or angry when they feel acknowledged. Therefore, this technique combines two techniques: acknowledging their feelings politely while discouraging the unwanted behavior.

The first type of intervention is an empathy statement followed by a refocus statement. First, you acknowledge the customer’s feelings in one sentence and without stopping you redirect the conversation back to his or her problem.

Reflect back your understanding of the customer’s situation and then refocus back to solving it.

When talking to someone, focusing mainly on facts and context rather than emotions will allow conversations to end sooner. This will minimize emotional content.