Workplace stress is a common part of interacting with customers. In our case customers include our colleagues, vendors, students, parents, and even community members.
The key is how we handle stress under pressure. We need to be able to maintain our composure while serving our wide variety/range of customers. Using established best practices and techniques, we can deescalate others people’s emotions and focus on the facts to work towards a resolution.
The Financial Aid department interacts frequently with students and family members who have concerns regarding their financial aid. In some cases the conversations become emotionally charged and responding in a calm and effective manner is the key to transitioning towards the next step. Most recently this department took advantage of a collaborative group workshop, where they learned techniques to handle stress in the workplace.
Common Techniques Include:
- Acknowledge person’s emotion and describe impact
- Invite person to share thoughts and feelings
- Determine whether continuing conversation is appropriate
- Listen to understand
- Probe to uncover underlying issues
- Help the person move on
- Tag a team member
- Avoid internalizing emotions
- Reach for fish in tackle box (personal method used by Financial Aid staff member)
If any department is curious about beginning this same conversation or collaborative group activity, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.