No matter your line of work, you are pretty much assured of encountering someone who is difficult to deal with--an angry customer, a disgruntled employee, a know-it-all consultant, or simply someone off the street who is mentally ill, intoxicated, or otherwise unstable. You will find yourself in situations engaging with someone who is emotional or confused or has an agenda that clearly conflicts with yours or that of your business. In these situations, can you prepare for the possibility of the interaction heading the wrong way, while still maintain a calm demeanor and a focus on shared goals and a successful outcome? What common skills do these scenarios--and many others like them--require?
In The Accord Agent
, Ellis Amdur and Robert Hubal share their decades of experience working with business and social service agencies in training and developing social interaction skills, particularly in 'intense, problematic' situations with individuals who may view themselves as adversarial. The Accord Agent is someone who continually tries to reach accord with the other person, striving to establish rapport, manage crises, and de-escalate aggression. The Accord Agent maintains a focus on his or her goals, while simultaneously seeking to achieve a level of trust, engaging others with professionalism, integrity, and respect. The Accord Agent crafts the communication to form a working relationship with the other person to share in achieving the aims of his or her professional responsibilities.