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Why Dealing With Difficult Team Members Will Lead to Happier Clients

By: Ron Kaufman
Posted: January 2, 2013, from the January 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Too often, skin care facilities promise satisfaction to external clients and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. It’s important to remember that your clients aren’t the only ones who come through your business’s door every day seeking quality service. Your co-workers also need to be served. If they’re not happy, it’s not likely they’ll deliver stellar service ... and the same goes for you. Inevitably, difficult people will creep into your work lives, negatively affecting the service you all provide your clients.

At some point, every person is viewed by colleagues as the difficult person. That’s why it’s important that a way is determined to provide uplifting service internally all the time … even when difficult situations arise so internal tiffs don’t lead to rifts with clients.

Once you’ve characterized someone as a difficult person, you’re already in a lose-lose situation. It’s like difficult clients: There are no difficult clients, there are only difficult client situations. Similarly, there are no difficult co-workers. There are only difficult co-worker situations. And once you start to think differently about how to manage those difficult situations, everyone can be more satisfied and better served—most importantly, your clients.

When the entire organization agrees to use this definition of service, everyone will be able to focus on creating value and serving each other better, which leads to better external service. Instead of seeing an angry co-worker and not wanting to have anything to do with her, you should naturally stop and ask yourself: What does this person value? What is she not getting that she needs? What can I do now to serve her better? When this culture of service takes hold in the spa, everyone feels better and works better together.

Assess the situation carefully. Is your colleague deeply upset or simply having a bad day? Is this a process problem that persistently provokes, or a one-time irritation that will naturally fade away? Then determine whether the person just requires a little personal attention from you—or whether a larger plan must be created.