With an old fashioned jukebox, you select a record title and push a button. The inner works of the jukebox retrieve that particular record. You can even watch it happen through the glass dome cover. It places the record on the player, the needle drops, and the song begins.
Customer service is like a jukebox. Through your interaction, an old ‘record’ is activated, a button has been pushed. Maybe the customer’s tone of voice reminds you of a stern schoolteacher or a parent or sibling. That record begins to play and you are gone. No longer present to yourself or the customer, you are being pulled by your history toward that old event or feeling.
The first step back to the present is awareness. If you are aware about something, you can assert control over it. Without awareness, it stays in the unconscious or subconscious and you are at the mercy of whatever is happening. To strengthen your awareness, pay attention to your feelings. If you begin to feel antagonistic, take a moment, breathe, and look to see if it’s something in the present that bothers you or something ancient. Then choose where to stay—in the present or in the past.
The second step is to implement choices. Yes, you can always go to that old record and react rather than respond.
How do you know when you’ve made a better choice? When the button gets pushed and your inner workings go for that particular record, your works come back either empty or with a blank tape. You have chosen to stay present and not go historical.
I invite and encourage you to stay present and not go historical.