Navigating Complaints with Empathy, Curiosity and Common-Ground Solutions With Melinda Lee - Speak in Flow

Welcome to another insightful episode of Speak in Flow with your host, Melinda Lee! In today’s episode, we delve into the intricacies of understanding and managing complaints, exploring the art of responding constructively and turning challenges into solutions. So, buckle up for a journey of empathy, curiosity, and actionable strategies.

Episode Highlights:

Understanding the Why Behind Complaints:

Melinda encourages listeners to dive deeper into the root causes of complaints, emphasizing the importance of empathy. By approaching complaints with an empathetic mindset, we gain a richer understanding of the underlying issues.

Discover the power of curiosity as Melinda guides you through the process of entering the complainant’s perspective. Uncover the layers beyond the surface-level dissatisfaction and open the door to more meaningful connections.

Explore the three crucial lenses to view complaints through: empathy, curiosity, and a solutions-oriented mindset. Learn how these perspectives can transform complaints from mere grievances into opportunities for growth and improvement.

Constructive Responses to Complaints:

Melinda shares practical tips on responding constructively to complaints. From active listening techniques to acknowledging emotions, she provides actionable strategies for turning a potentially negative interaction into a positive exchange.

Uncover the art of validating feelings without necessarily agreeing with the complaint. Melinda guides you through the delicate balance of expressing understanding while maintaining a solutions-focused approach.

Three Steps to Manage Complaints:

Delve into the three essential steps Melinda recommends for effectively managing complaints. These steps serve as a roadmap for navigating through challenges and finding resolution.

Gain insights into how acknowledging, addressing, and implementing solutions can create a positive feedback loop, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Turning Complaints into Solutions:

Melinda explores the transformative process of turning complaints into opportunities for positive change. Discover when and how to shift the focus from the problem to potential solutions.

Learn how a proactive mindset can not only resolve the immediate issue but also prevent similar complaints in the future. Melinda shares real-world examples of successful complaint-to-solution transformations.

Conclusion:

In this episode of Speak in Flow, Melinda Lee takes you on a journey to unravel the intricacies of complaints. Through the lenses of empathy, curiosity, and solutions, you’ll discover a new perspective on turning challenges into opportunities for growth. Join us in cultivating a communication style that fosters understanding, connection, and positive change.

About Melinda:

Melinda Lee is a Presentation Skills Expert, Speaking Coach and nationally renowned Motivational Speaker. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, is an Insights Practitioner, and is a Certified Professional in Talent Development as well as Certified in Conflict Resolution. For over a decade, Melinda has researched and studied the state of “flow” and used it as a proven technique to help corporate leaders and business owners amplify their voices, access flow, and present their mission in a more powerful way to achieve results.

She has been the TEDx Berkeley Speaker Coach and worked with hundreds of executives and teams from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Caltrans, Bay Area Rapid Transit System, and more. Currently, she lives in San Francisco, California, and is breaking the ancestral lineage of silence.

Website: https://speakinflow.com/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/speakinflow

Instagram: https://instagram.com/speakinflow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpowerall

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Transcript
Melinda Lee:

Welcome, dear listeners to a speak in flow

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podcast episode we are going to talk about complaints today.

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Complaints complaints. I mean, it seems like they're everywhere

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in our chaos and complexity and people with bad moods. It just

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seems like we can't break free from them. And so I wanted to

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dedicate an episode on how do we manage and navigate these

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complaints. I think it's important for us, and we're

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building our relationships. And so what are complaints, when

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someone complains to us, that means that they're neither

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there, they're dissatisfied with something, their expectation is

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not being met. And usually, when they're complaining, there's a

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lot of emotion on top of it, they're frustrated, they're

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angry, they're disappointed, they could just be blurting out

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things and directing them at you, whether it's your fault or

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not, it doesn't really matter, but they are just doing it. And

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so in the moment, it can be, it can feel really uncomfortable,

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because we, as a receiver can get really defensive. And if

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we're not careful, we're going to refute back, we're going to

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yell back and and then we're going to disconnect from the

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relationship. There is uncomfortable this and then

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there's tension. And then so we want to avoid that. And so here

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are some three things that you can do when someone complains at

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you. The first is listen with empathy.

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Second is get real curious. And third is open it up for

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solutions. So the first is, listen with empathy. When

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someone complains, just take a deep breath, and just go into

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curiosity mode. Oftentimes, we can be defensive and yell back.

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And so I highly recommend just taking some deep breaths, taking

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a step back and and then move into curiosity. Start to ask,

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Oh, tell me more. You're upset by this? I didn't do what you

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want it. So tell me more about that. What is happening? And so

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ask questions and and ask continue to ask questions. Tell

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me more. Tell me more. And they'll continue to tell you the

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story. Or you can also start to do some mirroring, labelling,

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which means that you just paraphrase what they said, Oh, I

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didn't meet your needs, oh, I failed to meet with you at a

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certain time, or I didn't deliver your task on time. So

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just paraphrasing what they're saying. And really go in with

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curiosity. So don't I think sometimes if we tried to do

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mirroring and labelling, we will feel like we're condescending,

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or we're doing it just to check off the box. And that was going

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to you know, create some defensiveness in them. You do

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want to go in with genuine curiosity. And leave mirroring

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labelling will come so naturally, because you're

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curious, you're like, what does that mean? Where is this coming

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from? Because underneath the emotion, you want to go

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underneath all that as they continue to tell you more,

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they're going to tell you the story of what has happened to

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them. And then therefore you can get into the needs, what is

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their true needs, underneath that, you're going to find out a

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lot of information. And then once they do that, they're going

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to be more receptive to talking about potential solutions.

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Because the reason why they're complaining is because actually

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they do want us, someone around us to hear them. And then now

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open up the door to what can we do about this? What do you what

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do you recommend? What do you propose? What are some

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solutions, or some ways that we can work together? What are some

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ways to help alleviate to get you what you want? And so open

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up the door for the third is solutions, but only after you've

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demonstrated the first listening with empathy. Second, getting

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curious and then going into what can we do about this together

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and really partnering to find some common ground to find some

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common solutions that will then create this connection again,

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that will then increase some possibilities that both of you

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together separately may not come up with. And so moving into open

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brainstorming and and ideas of what can be some solutions.

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So that is how you can handle complaints. I know that there is

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a lot of a lot of people that are struggling and dealing with

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a lot. And so for you to take that step forward to unleashing

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your voice. It requires that we rise above the noise, the chaos,

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the fear, the frustration and know that these are all just

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underneath that could Be emotions. And when we can rise

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above these limiting negative emotions, and coming in with

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curiosity, coming in with listening, and then opening up

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the door underneath all of that our possibilities are solutions

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that we can create together and move toward a partnership and

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into a deeper relationship, even when it's uncomfortable, even

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when things have not or expectations have not been met.

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Once you hear them, we can close the door on that I'll create a

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vehicle for connection for change, and more meaningful

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relationships. So I hope that you could take these tips today

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on how to navigate complaints in our crazy chaotic world rise. I

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am your sister in flow. Until next episode, I hope you take

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care and go out and lead with your heart