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If Customer Complaints Hurt Your Feelings, This Will Change Everything (Part 2)

People who teach, create, and design programs are prone to emotional fatigue...

Customers (especially parents) chat about our activity centers online, freely offer up suggestions, and form opinions about e-ver-y-thing.

But today is the day that the cycle of emotional fatigue ➡️ loss of focus ➡️ poor productivity ➡️ frustration gets completely annihilated...

If you haven't seen Part 1 of this series, go here.

(Watch/Listen Part 2 below, or keep reading)

Stop Giving Them the Keys

"They're driving me ca-razy," I sighed as I collapsed into my chair. "Well, stop giving them the keys," responded my co-worker, with a smile. She was right.

I had just clicked the send button, launching our new activity calendar. It took just two minutes to get numerous email replies... various responses that read something like this:

"I'm so disappointed in the class time. My babysitter's cousin's work schedule is going to change three weeks from Tuesday, and we can't come. It's very inconvenient, and my daughter's grandmother's car is in the shop."

(wink 😉)

It's human nature to voice our dislikes with more eagerness than our likes. So, I had developed a bad habit of handing over the metaphorical "keys" to my peace of mind and productivity.

The good news is that I learned how to stop letting customer feedback affect my mission.

I became unoffendable.

And, I'm going to show you the exact process that I used to take all of the... um... let's call it "fertilizer" that customers throw at us and use it to plant the seeds that lead to a level of success and happiness that you never knew you could have.

The Three Mental Buckets

Learn how to sort every comment, suggestion, program review, etc. within seconds of receiving it.

Your days of pondering and personalizing are over. Go ahead and wave goodbye to that crummy feeling in your gut that has been getting in the way of your God-given mission to do great things.

Every piece of communication that is directed towards you, or is said about you, will be instantly sorted into one of these buckets:

The Growth Bucket

What goes into the Growth Bucket?

The only... and I repeat only... pieces of communication that are allowed to be used as fertilizer for personal and professional growth are those pieces that come from people who have the authority to evaluate you or your business.

The only tricky part about the Growth Bucket is defining who has that authority...

People with letters behind their name? People older than you? Every customer? Your best customer?

When I was in my 20's, I thought that anyone with a higher level of mainstream education or anyone who held a higher position in an organizational chart automatically had the authority to judge me.

But, middle-aged me understands that 22-year-old me was naive.

The people who have been granted the authority to add to my Growth Bucket each bring a different skill set:

  • Education

  • Experience

  • Encouragement

  • Honesty

  • Realism (side note: you need someone on your team who will tell it to you straight)

The thing that they all share is a genuine desire to see me succeed. And, I get a sense that they have been divinely placed in my path.

When they communicate within their realm of authority, both their praises and critiques go right into the Growth Bucket.

Humble yourself, and use these pieces of communication as fertilizer for forward progress.

The Trash Bucket

Comments, suggestions, and criticism from people without authority go straight into the trash bucket.

Don't pull them back out at 1am, when you're supposed to be enjoying a well-deserved good night's sleep.

They go right into the trash... forever.

The People Skills Bucket

If you work with people, you will be the recipient of emotionally charged words that are... how should I phrase this... not proportional to the situation.

These communication daggers are angrier or more "over the top" than one would expect the average response to be.

These sharp comments have nothing to do with who you are as a person or a professional.


... nothing

... to

... do

... with

... your

... value.

Stay calm and toss them into the People Skills Bucket.

Use these interactions to:

  1. Learn more about the person, or the situation that the person is in. The ability to see things from someone else's perspective is priceless in the business world.

  2. Assess your own communication skills. You can't control the amount of emotional baggage that another person is carrying around, but you can ask yourself how you could have communicated differently to avoid stepping on similar land mines in the future.


It's time to practice using your buckets.

Use your social media comments/DM's, email inbox, or phone call records/logs to get started:

Start by reading a reasonable comment that, in the past, caused you to have an emotional reaction.

  1. Ask yourself, "Does the person who wrote this have the authority to judge this particular situation?"

  • If yes, then put it into your Growth Bucket and use it for positive change.

  • If no, then toss it right into the trash bucket.

Next, read an irrational, sharp, emotional response that you have received in the past, and ask yourself:

  1. What does this tell me about this particular person?

  2. How should I adjust or modify my professional relationship with this person based on what I now know about them?

  3. Is there anything that I can do to improve my own communication skills so that I can avoid this trip wire in the future?

Finally, go be the blessing that you are! And, enjoy the freedom of being unoffendable.


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