If you have been in a business, family or any other group involving people, then it is only a matter of time before you encounter "crazy." It can be a customer, team member, family member or anyone.
When "crazy" comes to town, it can be quite unsettling — especially if you pride yourself on your customer service or people skills. However, it doesn't matter how much you train, plan or work to satisfy others — "crazy" sometimes happens.
Over the years, I have had my share of encounters with "crazy." As someone who puts their work "out there" for all to see, I have many opportunities to meet "crazy." Couple that with my leadership roles and you have the formula for multiple "visits" every year.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you encounter "crazy."
Keep your emotions in check. It is easy to get defensive when someone calls your integrity, product or service into question. However, escalating the situation really does no good with "crazy." In fact, an emotional reaction may be just what "crazy" wanted to justify their actions.
Don't try to understand "crazy." Using the logical mind to understand the actions of "crazy" is an exercise in futility. Their perception may be originally based in reality, but it no longer resides there. In addition, dwelling on things can bring damaging self-condemnation.
Operate with an attitude of grace. The words or actions of "crazy" can be hurtful. However, they are often a result of deeper problems — which may or may not have anything to do with you, your company or your product. Grace, however, is not pity. While there may be underlying factors at work, that is not an excuse for behavior. And, you do not have to be continually subjected to the antics of "crazy."
Learn and Move On. There are many lessons to be learned when one encounters "crazy." We might learn something about customer service, or we might just learn how to handle "crazy." Once we do that, we should file the encounter and move forward. Nothing is gained by dwelling on the past.
"Crazy" happens. It is how you respond to it that really determines your character.
David Specht Jr. is Vice President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. and Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. View his blog at www.DavidASpecht.com.