How to Talk Yourself Off the Ledge|Jill Lublin

Just when you are making great strides with practicing patience, in walks that guy. The one who is never satisfied, the one who never thanks you for going above and beyond, the one who you wish would fire you already and quit making you feel like garbage. You think you might blow this time. After all, you are human, and you have your limits. You’ve tried the patient route before, but it’s to the point where it feels flat-out toxic to keep doing business with this one. You’re confused. Maybe you should fire him, you think—or maybe not. You decide that while the option to no longer do business with a client is sometimes necessary and fair to both parties, you take your realistic optimism and decide this most challenging patron is offering an opportunity to learn, grow, im- prove, and build up your patience even further. What can you do to keep from blowing your top when your patience really is at risk? Remember the following thoughts:


  1. Business is about relationships. Without relation- ships, there is no And relationships are made of people—very fallible people. And if to err is human, why shouldn’t we expect a few bumps in the road along the way?
  2. Don’t shoot the messenger. Usually the effect of whatever happened is not the responsibility of the person in front of
  3. You reap what you I think to myself, if I go into impatient mode, so will they. What you need least when trying to solve a problem is a complete breakdown in communication.
  4. This is an opportunity to give your feedback.“Here’s what I need” is a versatile line, handy for when you need to be patient yet stern with an em- ployee, vendor, or client. The owner of the restaurant might tell the waiter who didn’t service me properly, “It’s okay, but here’s what I need from you moving forward.” Or give feedback such as “You had me on hold too long.”
  5. Plan for your non-negotiables. No matter what, some of us just can’t fight the urge to scream over our pet For me, I can’t stand being put on hold. I have physiological reactions from impatience and anger, so I know I need backup. Be prepared. If you know being on hold is the bane of your ex- istence, ask an assistant to make the call for you and patch you in when the person is on the line. If voicemail overwhelms you, use the option through your cell phone provider to read voicemails instead of listening to them.
  6. We learn more from our screw-ups than our successes. It’s tragic, but true. We truly learn more when receiving and giving constructive criticism. Remember: You are providing great training opportunities when you are truthful with someone.