Making A Tough Phone Call at Work

Yesterday when I got into work the first thing I encountered was a note with some frustrating information on it. I can't really talk about the details (and they really don't matter) but what I want to write about is the conversation that I had with a colleague in another store.

If you've read this blog for a while you know that I usually have a tough time confronting others and expressing frustration or anger with someone else's behavior. In dealing with the note, one of these conversations was necessary.

In the past I would immediately make the call, in a frustrated state, and spit out a bunch of words that weren't thought out or clearly articulated. The common response to a confrontation like that, understandably, is anger and defensiveness.

Yesterday I took a different approach. This time, before reacting, I gathered as much info as possible, talking with my peer who had taken the original call. Then I made a list of the things I wanted to articulate; the list included how I understood the problem, how it made me feel, and how I would have like to have seen the situation handled. I waited until I was completely calm and rational before making the call.

My conversation went really well. I hung up the phone feeling that my relationship with the other person was solidly intact and that appropriate action would be taken to resolve the issue.