The other day I made a complaint to the service department of a large store that had delivered some furniture to us. The reason was that the technician did not show up to do the touch ups on the wood as promised. You’ve probably found yourself in a similar situation.
The person at the counter spoke to me from behind her computer barely looking up. I thought this was rude. Normally I would have been angry and passed judgment on her poor behavior. This time I chose to pay attention to what might be going on for her. She certainly didn’t look happy. She actually looked like she wasn’t feeling well. Was that an excuse for a poor attitude? I chose not to judge her attitude and treated her with respect.
The next day I went back with the bill for the touch up stick she had suggested we purchase to get reimbursed. She was a completely different person – polite, friendly and very helpful. I found out that she was on the firing line for complaints because the store had hired third parties to do certain work that very often was not getting done. We had a great conversation and I left her feeling that she had been understood. We all want to be understood.
When a manager or leader judges the behavior of an employee, that person usually does not feel good about themselves or their manager. That results in poor performance and a poor attitude.
Great leaders don’t judge. When you find yourself in that situation pause and find out what’s going on in their world that could cause the negative behavior. You’ll gain their respect.