From Collector: What’s Your EQ?
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you during a call.
10/9/2018 8:00 AM
Debt is not just about money. For many consumers, debt is often accompanied by a cocktail of strong emotions, including embarrassment, frustration, anger and confusion.
Understanding your own feelings and how you can control them can help you have more productive conversations when consumers are agitated or stressed.
This ability to recognize and manage your emotions is called emotional intelligence.
People with high emotional intelligence are often better able to reason with others and handle challenging interactions. Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May provides three ways you can use emotional intelligence principles in your collection work in the October issue.
When a consumer explains the origin of his debt—he lost his job or a loved one was sick —express empathy for his situation before you resume discussing the debt. That doesn’t mean feeling pity for the person, but rather reserving judgment on his choices or circumstances and responding compassionately. Phrases like “That sounds so hard” or “I’m so sorry for your loss” can help strengthen your connection with the consumer.
Use Active Listening
Good listening skills can help you stay engaged in the conversation so you can resolve emotional situations and help consumers figure out how to pay their debts. Don’t just listen for keywords—pay attention to everything the consumer is saying.
Embrace Conflict Management
Tuning in to consumers’ emotions can help you interpret what they mean so your reaction can be helpful and persuasive. Conflict management is about teamwork, so make sure you and the consumer are on the same page.
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