Thursday, June 30, 2011

Support...we can’t survive without it!

Sometimes support is just a hand─or paw─to hold! Many of us need to be able to vent─or talk to someone─to survive. Forming formal Venting Partners provides a venue to allow you to vent appropriately—out of ear shot of customers or team members—and with an end in sight. It’s a good stress reducer and eliminates frequent complaining—which wears everyone down.

First you and someone agree to be venting partners. When you need to vent, go to your partner and ask if this is a good time. They have the prerogative to set another time agreeable—or convenient—to both of you. To start, the listener says,

“OK, go!”

After one minute the listener says, “Stop”

Then, the listener asks my favorite question,

“Do you need another minute?”

If the answer is yes, the listener says, “Go!”

Interestingly, many of the people venting don't need another minute because they have received the complete attention of their venting partner. Note: this means the partner is not multi-tasking!

After another minute, listener says, “Stop.”

There are some important guidelines:

Venting partners focus on:
• Giving their partner their complete attention
• Making eye contact and otherwise showing they're interested
• Acknowledging their partner's feelings─showing empathy

Venting partners do not:
• Interrupt
• Give unsolicited advice
• Tell their partner to calm down
Hoover or vacuum up the other person’s feelings

When the venting session is over, both must let go of whatever was discussed. There, wasn't that a lot better than listening to a coworker complain over and over and over again about the same person or issue? Thought so!