Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Watching Wallander and got to thinking…

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Wallander is a police procedural, and Season 3 Episode 2 “Missing” includes a big search through woods and fields, along pathways and railroad tracks, for a missing child. I got to thinking about the grueling tedium—and then in the next scene, Wallander says to a colleague, “Go check, see if anyone’s seen anything,” and then thinking about the ordeal of approaching stranger after stranger, asking over and over if they noticed anything, anything at all.

And then it struck me that with that mindset the job would destroy me, and the way to approach it is as exciting sort of gamble/adventure: at any moment, literally in the next step or the next person, you may find the very thing you want. It’s like a perpetual lottery, only with better odds and a more important prize. And then the day would be excitement: always verging on the brink of discovery.

I think they do this same mental adjustment in sales, too: to see objections as a good sign, a thing that offers encouragement—because you’re sure going to hit a lot of objections. Might as well try to enjoy them and see what you can make of them: “So, basically, you like everything but the color, right?”. . .

If you’re going to shave, find a way to do it that makes it enjoyable. If you’re going to have to accept certain necessary aspects of a job, find a way to view them that makes doing them enjoyable. Why not?

UPDATE: Another example occurred to me from back when AT&T had humans staffing their information service. Information operators (as well as customer service and tech support staff) are often faced with irritated and even angry callers, who are frustrated by the time they call. The training was a two-step process: First, operators were trained (via recordings) to judge the anger of the caller on a 5-point scale. (Not sure about actual number of points: it could have been 6 or 7.) With a little practice, all trainees could accurately identify the caller’s anger level—that is, a given caller would get the same anger rating from all.

The next step was to deal with actual callers, and the challenge was to drop their anger by 1 point at least, with bigger drops representing a greater achievement.

This gave a game-like aspect to the calls, and made the calls more interesting and the abuse less apt to be taken personally: it was simply someone else’s anger, and the trick was to see how much you could reduce it. One immediate effect was that persons near the top of the anger scale were welcomed, since one could pretty easily reduce their anger by 2 or even 3 points. (Sort of like those learners who in the initial stages pay attention to progress rather than result: at the beginning of learning anything, progress is apt to be rapid, which is gratifying if that’s what you’re watching.)

The best result, of course, was a caller whose anger dropped to zero and who thanked the operator for the help.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 November 2014 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Daily life

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