Anger Can’t Be Ignored.
We’ve all chosen to not dignify a person’s absurd comment with a response, or perhaps you’ve stepped over a toddler sprawled on the floor in a tantrum, letting them scream. Dismissing fits of anger can be a healthy response in some situations – unless the infuriated person is your customer. Let me unpack this.
Psychologists talk about what they call the Communication Chain. The Communication Chain says that when a person puts out a verbal message, they expect a response to that message. That first message is a link in the communication chain. If there’s no response to the link, the chain is left unlinked or broken.
Now, we know that we have two different parts of the brain that serve two very different functions. The right side of the brain is where we feel emotions – like fear, joy, dread, shock, and love. The left side of our mind is the logical side. This is where we perform tasks that have to do with logic, like science and math.
So back to our Communication Chain – if you have a customer who expresses concern, frustration, or anger and you don’t acknowledge it, that is, if you ignore the rage, you break that chain, and this break forces customers into the right side of the brain where they may become more intense or challenging.
You don’t want an upset customer to operate from the right emotional brain. Because if they do, they’re likely to be more talkative, irrational, and far more intense.
You want your customer coming to you from their logical, rational, and calm left brain. If you link the communication chain by just responding to the customer’s anger, you keep the customer from getting stuck in the right brain.
Here are some things you can say to respond to anger without getting pulled into the drama.