It would be great if you could stay neutral when visitors/customers are upset and may be unfair in their assessment of the slight they perceive they have received from someone in your company. Maintain an impartial attitude and demeanor. Find a way that works for you to create neutrality. Here’s my way:
Some years ago, I had health issues that required me to take large doses of steroids. The drugs, altered by otherwise sunny disposition (gentle humor there), made me aggressive, assertive and angry a lot of the time. Looking back on that experience I realize there were many times when I was hard to deal with, for reasons that had nothing to do with the person upon whom I was venting anger. Since then, when I am the recipient of someone else’s anger and I can think of no reason that they should be speaking to me or treating me in the way that they are, I think to myself… “Well, perhaps they’re on steroids.”
Just thinking this reminds me that it’s not all about me and sometimes even makes me want to laugh. I try (usually successfully) not to laugh in front of the person who is obviously frustrated, as nothing seems to make people who are angry more angry than when they perceive that you are laughing at them.
I was talking to a winery owner the other day who told me that his mother used to say to him that perhaps the frustrated person “was wearing uncomfortable shoes.”
Think about what you can say to yourself that will bring you the neutrality you need to work with the visitor, so each of you goes away feeling happier. Feel free to use my steroid line if you wish. I find it does the trick every time.
A tip of the glass from me to you!