As a professional or family caregiver, you work with many different kinds of clients. Some are easy to get along with, while others can be a bit more difficult. While this can be frustrating, try to remember your client is experiencing many frustrations of their own, and you are there to help. Here are some ways you can help these more sensitive clients:
Listen. Maintain eye contact and show that you are listening to what your client has to say. Build your level of trust by listening and then act on what they say.
Don’t take it personally. Your client is complaining about a problem, not you. Pull yourself away from the situation and find out what is really going on. Even if they seem to be attacking you, there is almost always another deeper issue they are upset about.
Learn as much as you can. To figure out what is going on, you have to be willing to ask questions. Show your client that you are willing to learn about them and what is happening by taking the time to ask. Many times a client simply needs to know that you care about them.
Be nice and caring. Respond positively and be empathetic. Apologize for any negative experience and be sure to clarify the issue. Clients want to see and know that you care, and it’s the most effective way of saving relationships with clients.
Follow up and track the progress. Write down all of your client’s concerns and follow up. Ask if things have improved or not. Note how they improve or digress and make adjustments as needed. Show them you’re staying on top of the issue.
As you encounter difficult situations with your clients, you have a unique opportunity to change and improve the circumstances of your relationships. By putting forth the effort to show your concern, you will not only improve your relationships, but may make a big difference in the life of your clients, as well.