Its been a while since I’ve posted and I want to address that and be more consistent going forward. So, having said that I’d like to share a very effective response strategy I was introduced to in a training very early in my career, that I’ve used frequently with great success, especially in the business of dealing with challenging and difficult clients or anyone else you may have to deal with. They don’t necessarily have to be challenging they could just be nosy.
Here it is: It you find yourself being challenged or questioned or at the end of a verbal personal label, the statement that you can use every time is “that’s interesting…” and after saying that you immediately follow up with one of the four following responses:
- “…tell me more…”
- “…why would you say that…”
- “…why would you do that…”
- “…why would you ask that…“
As I said, these responses have proven to be very effective for me during my career of working with very difficult and challenging individuals and even easier to use in everyday life. For example, when working with drug addicted individuals and criminally involved individuals I was often challenged regarding my knowledge and experience with drug use (did I ever use drugs). For many professionals who attend my training today, their common response to this common challenge is, “…we’re not here to talk about me, we’re here to work with you…” That type of response is usually met with a level of resentment because it’s reactive, dismissive and evasive to the client and usually results in further animosity and resentment. What I discovered that worked best in any situation was not to react, and respond instead with “that’s interesting…why would you ask me that?” And, “that’s interesting…why would you say that?” And any of the other two of the four responses shown earlier.
Responding in the manner above, puts the responsibility back on the person who challenged you or said something to you, to explain why and reason for saying what they said. Very often the challenger doesn’t have a meaningful reason for being challenging because they just want to be difficult and will usually drop the challenge and prefer to go on to something else. If not that, you’ll discover that any of their other reasons are usually weak and easily dealt with.
I hope that you find what I’ve presented helpful and useful in your future interactions with anyone you deal with on a daily basis and yes that does include friends, family and kids. Cheers.