Who’s being difficult then?

I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks, lots of meeting people and networking with a couple of serendipitous events thrown in…

Anyway, out of one of these discussions with an associate who is a business psychologist has borne a plan. We shall deliver a number of training days around the area (Bath, Newbury, Oxford & Swindon to be specific) this June on the topic of managing difficult people. Or is it managing difficult situations? Or managing difficult conversations? Or is it “let’s get myself the hell out of this and keep myself sane”? I’m guessing you can see where I’m coming from.

Of course it will be a fascinating day. Between us we have been a psychiatric nurse, a police man, a counsellor, a psychologist, a trade union officer, (parents?)… The list could go on. And, through that, we are both highly used to dealing with some very difficult customers but there’s the rub. We’ve also highly likely been judged by others; whether it be a shop assistant, a doctor or a waiter as a difficult customer. And there we were thinking how reasonable we were. Ouch!

So. That’s the point. People can be difficult to work with and when you are at work you need to be able to deal with it. Otherwise you lose customers and you or your staff get stressed. Removing the label of a difficult person is hugely important, we need to break it down in to difficult conversations or situations. What causes people to be difficult? Is it a mismatch between their expectations and what you are able to offer. Is it that you don’t always recognise some of the clues that the person you’re just about to deal with is having a bad day? Once the difficult situation arises, how do you keep your emotional responses in check? It’s important to hang on to the fact that person is a human and the service exists to work with humans. So we’ll debunk the labelling and get people to be people centred and customer focussed.

We’re really positive about this initiative and would love to hear your thoughts, views etc. In the first instance we’ll be aiming the days at people who are in front line customer facing roles within the service sector, GP or Vets receptionists, Healthcare Support Workers, staff who work at front desks for the police service for example. We’re also happy to tailor the day and run it solely for corporate customers reflecting your values and customer service standards. There’ll be an online pre attendance questionnaire so we can understand the needs of our delegates, a real focus on behaviour change so delegates will be able to deal with things differently next time. Places will be strictly limited to twelve delegates to maximise the learning opportunities on the day. To make sure it’s stuck we will also follow up with a telephone call about a week after the event to see how things are going.

If you’re interested in attending, sending a delegate or just want to find out a bit more then, as ever, please feel free to contact me.


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Care HR Solutions – Open for business

After many years of wanting to have my own business and after a few months of planning and preparation – here I am.

I’m really looking forward to working with social and health care providers to really improve their businesses.  As far as I know there are only ‘two of me’ in the country, that is registered nurses as well as qualified HR professionals. The other is called Sarah and works for the RCN.  I’d always be happy to hear from more…

And that is what I think gives me and this business its USP.  In the care business you almost always come back to the people, a drug here, a technical intervention there, for sure; but it’s people.  People caring for people.  

Look back at almost any report following something going wrong and looking toward the soon to be published Mid-Staffs report; it’ll be people who need to take responsibility and make the changes.    

I’ve spent years caring for and about people and Care HR Solutions Ltd is my opportunity (and yours in partnership) to support and develop both people and caring around the South East, London, the Channel Islands and the Midlands.  I’ve got a great track record in helping people to learn, take responsibility and develop.  

Don’t hesitate to get in touch & I’ll do my best to post articles and things of interest here.

Take care and best wishes, Julian

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