Assert Yourself

Good customer service doesn’t just pertain to outside customers. Internal ones - our co-workers - are just as important. How we deal with each other has a great deal of influence on our attitudes and how we will relate, in turn, to the outside customer. It’s important to strike a balance between straight-forwardness and tact, especially when facing a problem or delicate situations. Knowing how to assert yourself will allow you to communicate your opinions, feelings and thoughts in a calm, non threatening way. It will go a long way toward keeping things on a positive, even keel with both external and internal contacts.

These practical tips on asserting yourself may help:

  • Make eye contact. Let your co-workers know you are sincere about what you are saying by making direct eye contact while talking. But be careful to not stare anyone down, which can be mistaken for overbearing or aggressive behavior.
  • Stick to the facts - be specific. Make sure and explain yourself clearly and concisely and discuss only what is clearly observable.
  • Never say never. Steer clear of absolute words like “never”, “finally”, or “always”. These can exaggerate the real facts and put people on the defensive.
  • Don’t fidget. Don’t tinker with a pen or notepad on your desk or rattle the change in your pocket. Any such distraction weakens the importance of the conversation, as well as the impact of what is being discussed.
  • Let your face and demeanor reflect your feelings. The expression on your face should show the message that you want to convey. If you are truly angry or upset about something, don’t smile and make light of it. On the other had, if you are genuinely pleased with the situation, be sure you project that positive feeling.