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The Most Important Word to use When Negotiating

A few years ago I admitted to turning 50 and for those of you in this age of “enlightenment” I came to the conclusion I needed to take care of the one body I had for this lifetime.  That realization meant I needed to get all those weird sun spots looked and just make sure I was going to stay on this earth a while longer.

After a visit with the Dermatologist in our area, it was determined a surgical procedure was needed. The appointment was booked- the procedure was completed- and the post op visit set.  All was once again right with the world.

Or so I thought.

Blessed with great health insurance, the Doctor visit was only $60 which was happily paid. However, when I arrived for the post op visit the “right with the world” idea left the waiting room.
Because I was seeing the Doctor for the post op visit, the nice young lady at the front desk said: “Let me go ahead and process your office visit charge.” Huh? It’s a follow up visit. I’m thinking…just get the stitches out and let’s get this done.

She continued: “Our corporate offices require us to charge a fee when any patient is on the schedule to see the Doctor.”
(Insert deep breathing exercise here). At this point in my life, I truly attempt to look at all situations with curiosity versus judgment and therefore, let her know that is odd and didn’t make sense to me.
NOTE: I was talking, not yelling and not upset.  Just asking a question. My big question for all of you at this point is this:

When did asking for clarification become a confrontational conversation? In the world of content marketing and social media management, I deal with passive aggressive comments on a daily basis.  While face-to-face conversations have decreased with the introduction of technology and instant news, there has been no downward trend to site for the incredible knee-jerk, passive aggressive comments we all see on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter news feeds on a daily basis.  It’s sickening at times to manage long threads of complaints for my clients. A simple conversation at the time of service could have solved so many of the conversations I see.

Could social media be to blame for the rise in entitled behavior and a lack of patience?  Siding as a realist, I feel we have an opportunity to treat each other with kindness and allow a situation that had a bad outcome (personally to you) to be an opportunity for a simple, respectful conversation.
The power of complaining is not a test for us to get our own way and then brag to others.  It is an opportunity to get back to a simple conversation with a human on the other end of the phone, even online, or in-person.  Allowing the other party to resolve the situation or explain what happened, gives them a chance to manage their own reputation and share clarity. This will take a little patience of both parties and I hope, spark better conversations so we can remember that in order to build a community we all need to commune.

The #1 most important word to use in order to “master” the art of negotiation is: Help.
Yes- simple in nature and when used in a conversation, has amazing results on human behavior.  “Help me understand”, “Help me find a way”, “I could use your help”.  Try it this week.  When something just does not go your way- calmly inject HELP into your dialogue.
What do you think? Help me out– give me your feedback below. By the way…the fee got reversed and I used the word “help” to resolve the situation.

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