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This Could Be Tricky.” Coaching for Difficult Duty

“Do everything in your power to help them be as successful as possible. You succeed only when they succeed.”

—Ferdinand F. Fournies

You know the feeling: the butterflies in your stomach, the sweat on your palms, the tick that develops above your left eyebrow, that all say “I am not looking forward to this.” There are times when individuals on your team—and sometimes your entire team—must prepare to deal with difficult customer situations, situations that range from “tricky” and sensitive to those involving flaming, fire-breathing Customers From Hell™. Think Exxon Valdez and lawsuits over hot coffee on the one extreme and packaging problems on the other—as in, “Folks, the last 1,000 module ...

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