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How to deal with difficult clients (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2011



Benefits of active listening:

Active listening means:

Active listening is a way of checking

Active listening responses have two components

     1) Naming the feeling that the other person is conveying.
     2) Stating the reason for the feeling.

Here are some examples of active-listening statements:

     • "Please don't be mad at me."
     • "Sounds like you're upset about what happened with that client this morning."
     • "I'm hearing that you think this is my fault."
     • "You're annoyed by my lateness, aren't you?"
     • "You sound really stumped about how to tell Sarah you can't work for her Saturday."
     • "It makes you angry when you find errors on Dr. Ann's medical records."
     • "Sounds like you're really worried about Wendy."
     • "I get the feeling you're awfully busy right now."
     • "I'm sorry."

Actively listening is not the same as ______________________________

Improve your process

     • Active listening: reflecting back (paraphrasing) to the other person both words and feelings expressed by that person.
     • Identifying your position: stating your thoughts and feelings about the situation.
     • Exploring alternative solution: brainstorming other possibilities; rating the pros and cons; ranking the possible solutions.

Techniques that can be used in dealing with difficult clients and in difficult situations

Active listening

Active listening proves to the client that you are paying attention and that you believe that the client and what he or she has to say is important. Active listening involves rephrasing the key points of what the client has said and reflecting them back to the client, often in the form of a question.

     • For example: "So, you're saying that you were told the total cost of service was going to be $240.00 and you are not willing to pay anymore than that, is that correct?'
Here's what to do

Venting

You are probably familiar with the concept of venting. By allowing the client to let off steam uninterrupted, the idea is that the client will eventually calm down on his or her own. While this may work, you should know that there are two types of people. Venters are people who will calm down if allowed to let off steam. Obsessors, however, will get angrier and angrier the more they talk about their situation or grievances.

     • If you allow a person to vent and find he/she is getting more and more agitated, more active measures are needed, such as empathy statements, attempts to refocus, neutral mode and so on.
Here's what to do