JJ's (August '05) Tips in this issue:

1. Pushing Back Can Undermine Your Success
2. JJ's Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring


WELCOME to new clients, See's Candies in California, and RJ Matthews Company in Ohio (animal health).

Use the following tips as training tools.

Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.


A reader wrote: How can I influence the people who report to me to stop arguing and verbally pushing each other around on our team?


You may have inherited people on your team (someone else hired them) who have resentments or strong opinions about you or others on your team.

Usually these resentments are the residue of past experiences that need to be put aside to get on with the work at hand.

It does not matter as much why these feelings exists as much as how you and the individuals deal with them. Don't let them undermine your team's success.

Arguing and verbally pushing others around shows a lack of respect, productive communication skills and cooperation.

The foundation of teamwork is COOPERATION and when it is missing, you don't have a team; you have individuals calling themselves a team.

When someone argues or raises their annoyed or angry voice to be heard in a discussion, this is PUSHING BACK.

When someone pushes you, the most natural reaction is to push back. DO NOT PUSH BACK! When you do, you GIVE THE OTHER PERSON THE CONTROL.

This is a common problem for some people, both personally and professionally. Sibling rivalry and disagreements often contributes to the development of this negative trait in childhood. These people are sometimes labeled "bullies" by other members of the family.

Then they grow up and find others in the workplace, even customers, will trigger the same response causing them to push back.

They are then a person with a BUTTON that can be pushed. When the button is pushed it produces a push-back attitude and negative communication.

It is time you as a leader realized you can help them eliminate the button so they are not provoked in the future. You can suggest a technique called, Self Therapy which is described later.

Let's say you or other people on your staff are in a good mood today, and I asked you if you could think of someone who could change your mood just by thinking about them. Usually you conjure up an uncomfortable situation that happened with them in the past and your mood changes.

If you can change your mood this way, you have an UNRESOLVED CONFLICT with them, and a BUTTON that can be pushed by someone similar. I call this letting someone else put a CLOUD OVER YOUR HEAD.

Here are several solutions to guiding yourself and others on your team not to push back, regardless of the situation.

1. When someone's body language, voice or words come pushing at you, STOP! Don't let yourself be provoked to push back. Instead, pull an imaginary shade down in front of your face, and tell yourself to STAY NEUTRAL and IN CONTROL of the conversation.

2. Keep your voice relaxed, neutral, and unthreatening. Calmly give the benefit of the doubt to the other person about the subject. Use teamwork and cooperation phrases such as: "Let's see what we can work out together, I can appreciate what you're saying, What (not why, as it causes defensiveness and
more pushing back) do you feel might be a good solution to...."

These are neutral defusing phrases that take the heat off or push-back away more quickly.

3. Get in the other person's shoes and feel what they're feeling. Forget yourself and work to see their perspective. When you put the emphasis on the other person and they see you are genuinely working (not just trying) to see their perspective, they will stop pushing and start working with you.

4. If you or others on your team have buttons that get pushed or in other words, there is someone from your past, dead or alive, who can cause a cloud to form over your head (bad mood), you would benefit by using a technique to rid yourself of it called, Self Therapy.

You can also find it suggested in an article on our website for customer service reps. It's called, "The Voice - It's the Front Line of Customer Service." http://www.jjlauderbaugh.com


We all have conflicts and negative feelings that show in our voices, and the worst is the unresolved conflict from our past.

Muriel Schiffman wrote about a technique to rid ourselves of these attitudes in Gestalt Self-Therapy and Further Techniques for Personal Growth.

Go to a quiet place where you will not be overheard or disturbed. Think of the person, dead or alive, with whom you have this unresolved conflict. Say out loud all the things you could possibly say to that person. Get as emotional as possible. Cry! Scream! Yell! Call the person names!

Continue until you can't think of anything else to say. Then, be the other person and say aloud everything you think he or she might have said to you. You'll be surprised at what will come out of your mouth. Continue until you can't think of anything else to say. You can repeat the process if you have
anything more to add. Personally, I have never found the need to repeat it again on the spot, although I sometimes do at a later date.

You'll feel exhausted and drained. You'll have a different perspective on the conflict, and it will have become defused and less important. Don't tell the person or people you've been in conflict with that you have used this technique (done the work) on him or her. You'll notice your voice will gradually reflect the change in your attitude and others will feel the difference too.

Coworkers and customers are expecting our voices to be in the middle, mellow range that is approachable and pleasant. They expect us to be friendly and eager to please them, even when they're unhappy and complaining. Instead, we take the complaints personally and our voices change to show our hurt or
disapproval. Yet, this is exactly the time when our internal and external customer-care training matters the most. The way we handle disagreements is a measure of our genuine concern and care for others.

Also remember to treat your internal customers the same as you're expected to treat your external customers....with lots of respect!


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
- John Quincy Adams

"Begin with praise and honest appreciation. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders...Make the fault easy to correct. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest."
- Dale Carnegie


TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.

Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 445-1590


Customer service or sales?
Inbound or outbound call center sales and service?
Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
Motivation and growth of your people?
Leading and Coaching your staff?



Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)



JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
408 445-1590 or 800 500-9656, 1716 Husted Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CMC) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at


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JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2005. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, email jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.

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