Never answer a statement – you will always lose
When you speak with a customer – or your spouse for that matter – and a heated debate ensues, resist the urge to answer to a statement made by the other party.
Why? There are two simple reasons that should make you think twice about responding. For one, in all but the fewest cases you will end up saying something that will further infuriate the other person. Is that what you really wanted? It is a downward spiral that can easily escalate out of control. When a response, or action had not been requested you may end up saying something that is either hurtful, or simply misinterpreted. Put the brake on this runaway train and take a deep breath.
The other reason is that when you get emotional, you will engage your lizard brain (Remember? This is the primal one that lets you fight, flee, or freeze). When that happens you pretty much throw out all reasonable thought, and you will engage in one, or more of the primal responses. When you allow for that to happen, you will once again set the stage for escalation of what could have been a simple end of the conversation.
Whenever you end up listening to a diatribe of someone who is obviously upset at you, or something you said, then remember to choose taking a breather. Think your responses through. Is what is being said about what you do or who you are? The former should not draw a significant response. The latter may require you having to excuse yourself from the conversation until such time that it can resume on a more civilized level. I am not saying for you to never address the issues, or ask for your side to be heard. You should know though that there is nothing gained from a conversation in which you have not been specifically asked for a response.
Thoughts? Please share them in the notes field.