When the customer complains or the boss gets upset, when the negativity gets too personal or you get that unprofessional e-mail from the angry client – those are the times when we can feel hurt. Those are the times when we in customer service roles can feel that physical or emotional or spiritual gut punch.
But there are ways we can build an inner strength to deal with some of this outer negativity. There are ways we can build our own capabilities to deal with criticism.
Be Self-motivated. Don’t rely on others to motivate you or affect your self-perception. The more you get your motivation and drive from the inside, the less the feelings and perceptions of others will affect you.
Accept Responsibility for Your Actions. If you accept responsibility for the issues you caused, you can more readily understand the other person’s point of view in those situations. And when somebody comes after you with accusations that are not your doing, it helps you more objectively receive those comments, knowing they’re not really speaking the truth about you.
Be Proud of What You’ve Accomplished. Know the good that you have done, and keep that good top-of-mind even if a bad tone is coming your way.
Be Tolerant and Respectful of Others. You don’t have to love the other person, you don’t have to agree with their position. But if your concern is conveying respect and being tolerant of the other individual, it helps you to focus more on treating them as a human (imperfect like we all are) rather than getting immersed in their negativity.
Have Integrity. Do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing. Take solace in knowing that what you’re doing is fair, honest, and true, and you’ll never regret how you addressed the situation.
We can prepare for the difficult moments by building our own shield day-after-day. This is not a shield to separate us from the complaints or the complainers. It is something that we can nurture inside of us to strengthen our ability to handle criticism in the moment.
To Build Your Shield, self-motivate, accept responsibility, take pride in your accomplishments, be respectful, and have integrity.