Archive | September, 2011

What you do and how you speak

26 Sep

I’ve oftentimes heard people say, “What you do isn’t who you are.”  To that I say,” Well it kinda is.”  I understand that your job doesn’t define you because you, as a person, could “do” many things, but from my experience I’ve found that what people do for a living says much more about them than they think.  One aspect in particular is their communication style.  I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with their learning style as well.  People within specific industries communicate a certain way, not just with others within those industries but with everyone.  This can be pretty frustrating when it comes to building, maintain and sustaining relationships with people different than you.

For example, I noticed people in sales are extremely personable.  They get into details, care about personalizing each conversation and they’re wonderful at bullshit.  On the other end of the spectrum are engineers, they’re matter-of-fact, to-the-point and would rather have facts than fluff.  Depending on who you’re asking, one style is definitely better than the other but the important thing is being able to tailor your style to those around you.  It’s not beneficial to or for anyone to simply choose one communication style and stick to it because you’re neglecting to consider the handfuls of people who aren’t the exact same as you are.  Being open to speaking and adapting to others will greatly increase your chances at being effective communicators .  

AT&T, you disappoint me

16 Sep

Good customer service is something we all expect.  Businesses can’t afford to have their customers treated poorly, but what happens when the customer service is fine but the company repeatedly screws up in other aspects?  I’ve been dealing with AT&T for a couple of years now and when I moved last October I need to move my service as well.  Since last October I have called them about a dozen times in regard to the same exact issue: billing.  They are consistently billing me random amounts.  One month I’ll have a $0 balance yet next month I’ll get a bill for two months.  I’ve spent hours on the phone with them trying to resolve this (one phone call in particular lasted over an hour) yet the next month or so I have the exact same problem all over again. 

I don’t like getting frustrated with the representative on the phone because I know I’m not speaking to same person every time, but I can’t help sounding a little out-of-control because I’ve called so many times about the same thing and time after time when I get off the phone the issue will seemingly be resolved, yet I know I’m going to need to make the exact same call again in about 30-50 days.  So how am I supposed to handle this? 

In one aspect, I think it’s best to speak to them calmly and keep in mind that it isn’t the unfortunate person I’m speaking to’s fault that I keep getting screwed up bills.  Also, I want this person on my side and doing everything possible to clear additional charges. Yet on the other hand, I’m so angry with AT&T for repeatedly screwing up on something so simple.  So to answer my own question, I usually start off incredibly frustrated but manage to calm down halfway through because I end up feeling bad for the poor soul who has the unfortunate job of cleaning up someone else’s mess.  What have you done in the past?  What has or hasn’t worked when dealing with continuous problems?

Who’s your support system?

11 Sep

We all need support.  Whether that comes in the form of friends or family, having people that support and listen to you is one of the most essential things we need in life.  They may not always say what you want to hear, but they know what needs to be said.  It may not be nice or sugar-coated, but if that’s what you’re looking for I’m sure there are a handful of other acquaintances that can easily tell you what you want to hear.  The older I get the more I realize the vital importance it is for us to surround ourselves with good people who genuinely have our best interest at heart.  They are the ones who know your flaws, imperfections and drawbacks, but love you know matter what.  They love you not in spite of or despite of any of these things.  They love you because of them.

My last post was about the importance of talking about your problems with others.  This is when your support system really matters.  Whether it’s relationship issues, work issues, or anything in between your support system will be the ones to point you in the right direction.  They give advice that may seem obvious to you, but you might not want to hear.  They’re also usually the only ones who have the audacity to tell you to pipe down when you’re making a big deal out of nothing.  They are the ones who you call over and over again with the same problem, knowing that they’ll always answer.  What they say may be a hard pill to swallow, but you do because you know they only want what’s best.

Talk it out

10 Sep

Sometimes you just need to vent.  I know there are people who are perfectly content keeping their issues to themselves, but I’ve never been one of those.  At times I wish I could just keep my problems to myself and just deal with it on my own, but most of the time I realize that talking things out and discussing  problems that bother me with other helps me in a million ways.  Opening up to friends or family gives you insight into your problems that you may not have had.  It’s cathartic.  Sometimes, the more you talk about it, the better you feel.  It may seem counterproductive to talk about your problems over and over, but sometimes that what you need to do to recognize what’s really wrong and that’s the key to finding a solution.

Keeping everything bottled up may seem like a good idea initially, but you can’t keep it in forever.  Problems will inevitably surface and by then it may be too late to look for a solution.  This is unfair to yourself and to those who may be involved.  Problems don’t simply go away because they aren’t acknowledged.  In the long run, it’s best to identify what the issues are, talk about it with those you trust and find a solution to improve the situation.

Believe the good

2 Sep

Why do we always believe the worst about ourselves? No matter how good you know you are or what amazing things you know you’re capable of, why is it that the criticisms always win out?  Whenever compliments are given or kind words are exchanged why do we usually have the knee-jerk reaction to reject them?  Surely it can’t be because the majority of us have low self-esteem, so what makes us automatically believe the bad things but think the good things are fallacies?  

It’s so easy to understand the negative things about ourselves because we are our own worst critic.  I think we each strive to be better with each day and continual improvement is a never-ending process, so when people acknowledge positive things about you your automatic reaction is to reject it.  We continually think that we can be smarter, kinder, more generous, more attractive, etc. When in reality maybe we’re fine the way that we are.  Sometimes changes aren’t necessary.  It’s a difficult concept to grasp, I know, but perhaps who we are is pretty freakin’ great. Not everyone is going to appreciate everything about you, but when you come across those that do revel in it and belive it.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better, but there’s also nothing wrong with acknowledging that there are things about you that are good, aspects that should remain unchanged and traits that deserved to be recognized.  

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