Dealing with a “Hot Headed” Client or Customer

Not everyone we deal with in our home businesses is going to be pleasant and easy-going—sooner or late we will find ourselves having to work with someone who is more argumentative, passionate, or what one might call “hot headed.” Should we just avoid or eliminate anyone who is incredibly hot headed, or are there ways to work with these super-passionate people?

One of the things I have learned is that there are different kinds of “hot headed”—there is the angry, negative, argumentative person, but there are also people who are reactionary, and those who feel really passionate about things and tend to react accordingly. Not everyone who is hot headed is out to pick a fight, some people are just trying to be heard or sharing their opinions and cannot help being loud and aggressive about it. Determining what is driving the hot headed person can help in figuring out how to deal with them.

Some people who are hot headed can stay focused on the issue at hand and once you figure out what it is that they would like to happen, communication can occur. There are others, however, who really want attention, or want to be heard, or need to cause a ruckus. You may be able to give them positive attention to counter the need to create chaos, but it might not work. I remember when I was 19, I worked at the catalog department in our hometown Sears store—we had a customer who was undoubtedly infamous because she came in just about every other day and placed orders and then she returned just about everything she ordered—usually making a bit of a scene over why she needed to make the return. The manager had tried everything to work with this customer and even tried to “ban” her from being able to place orders. Come to find out, we weren’t the only store where she was doing this. She was a lonely, older woman who seemed to need the drama, excitement and control that her behaviors produced. Without some serious therapy, I don’t think she COULD have stopped her behaviors so we had to find a way to work with it. I found by giving her lots of attention and asking her about her life and such, she was less likely to place big orders—at least while she was in the store.

To a certain extent, in your home business you can decide who your clients and customers are, but you may also have to figure out how to cope and deal with hot headed people. They are not all created alike and discovering what the motivation or psychology is that is going down can help in figuring out how to work with these people.

Also: When Customers Ask for Special Treatment

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