2021 ends in four days, and we all know that over the past few years, the world as we’ve always known it has undergone rapid changes. Last year, with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed history in the making—a history that was deeply traumatic for many. This trauma manifested in many ways, such as financial hardship, grief, and isolation.
Because of this trauma, people are in dire need of empathy and compassion. No matter what industry you work in and no matter who you interact with on a day-to-day basis, you have the power to create deep connections with others using empathy. The first step? Changing our personal mindsets.
The truth is, customers and clients can tell when we feel uncomfortable during a challenging interaction, such as when the customer is frustrated or hostile. If we match the customer's tone and focus only on what we can't do, the conversation will escalate and go in circles.
In other words, if we change our own perceptions of the customers, clients, and difficult interactions we experience, we can begin to change the perceptions they hold as well.
Today, I want to share a quick and easy activity that you can use to shift your mindset as you go into the new year. This activity will promote increased empathy and connection in your career. Get ready to write down your answers to dive deep into this mindset shift.
Reflect on What You Love
Sometimes, the way you find change is by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. In this case, I'm talking about focusing on the positive aspects of your professional life. After all, I wholeheartedly believe that what you focus on grows, so focusing on the negative can actually cloud your perceptions and stunt growth and change.
Step One: Write down three positive things about your job.
That’s it; just find three things that make you love what you do. Maybe you enjoy talking to others. Maybe you enjoy negotiation. Maybe your favorite part of the day is helping people solve a problem that your company specializes in solving.
Now, I’m going to challenge you to add to this list for the next week. Each time you think of something you love about your job, add it to your list.
Rebuilding habits is just as important as creating new ones. We can work on our mindset by removing the negative and focusing more on the positives you came up with in step one.
We can begin to rebuild our habits with step two.
Step Two: Write down your three worst habits at work.
These don’t have to be glaring bad habits; maybe you spend too much time in the break room, or maybe you have a tendency to complain about difficult conversations with customers or clients. Write down any negative patterns you notice throughout your day.
Once you have 3 habits to rebuild written down, think about how you can transform those into positive habits. If you spend too much time in the break room, maybe you can commit to spending 10 extra minutes at your desk every day. If you complain about difficult phone calls, commit to talking about positive phone calls instead.
Renew Humanitarian-Plus Business
What does humanitarian-plus business mean to you? Step three is all about finding ways to create an environment that makes customers, clients, and colleagues feel safe and supported.
Step three: Write down three empathetic traits you value in customer service and communication.
You could write down patience, solution-driven language, or friendliness. Write down whatever you think is the most important. Think about your own experiences with customer service professionals and what qualities you especially appreciate.
Then, ask yourself how you plan to implement these traits at work. How can you put them into action on the phone or in-person? Are you going to commit to explaining what you can do instead of what you can’t? Are you going to find ways to stay relaxed in stressful situations with customers and clients?
Wrap Up: Your Homework for the Next Week
As you go back to work, make sure to consider all of these notes you took while speaking to customers, clients, and colleagues. You have the power to change your mindset, abandon bad habits, and create a humanity-plus environment at your company.
Reflect, rebuild, and renew as you enter 2022.
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