Paying bills used to be a stressful endeavor, especially if I had to speak on the phone with a company representative. I hated calling the companies who sent me bills. I would feel tense, and I was convinced that they were withholding valuable information.

Recently, I learned a trick for improving the outcome of these conversations. I was talking to my phone company, and I felt angry and frustrated. Suddenly I said, “Listen, the quality of my thinking is so bad right now that it would be better to say goodbye.” And I hung up. Later, when I was feeling better, I called back and dealt with the problem easily.

Now, before I call in, I ask myself, how am I feeling? If I feel good, then I make the call and ask, “How are you today?” If they say, “Thanks for asking, I am having a great day.” I smile and say, “Great, you are the perfect person to help me!” But, if they grumble or don’t answer, I hang up.

This simple check in and follow up question, sets me up for a more successful outcome. The truth is, that if I call in, convinced that they are going to ruin my life, no conversation is going to be a good one. And a cranky sales representative can do nothing for me. It doesn’t matter how simple my request.

What I know is that bad feelings indicate low quality thinking. And low quality thinking makes it ‘hard’ to find the answers. In fact, no matter who is doing it, bad feelings can bring the simplest endeavor to its knees.

Curious to learn more about how you bring your experience alive? Join me, every month, on the third Saturday at 8 am, live on the radio! Real Life Radio with Jennifer Till on 1070 AM Charlottesville, or stream live from your computer.

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