Jul 19, 2010

Comp 'Em


I'm sure it's happened to you as well. You're at a restaurant and they screw up your order. They either bring the wrong order or it takes forever to get your food. You get ticked off and in your head you're thinking "I'm never coming back here again!" But then they do something that changes your mind. They comp you with a free dessert or don't even charge you for the meal. You walk out the door not so ticked off after all.

There are times in ministry when people are going to get ticked off at you, one of your staff members, a volunteer, or a guideline you have in place. When that happens, what do you do?

  1. Keep calm yourself. You may be emotionally charged on the inside, but don't let it show in your voice or face.
  2. Take the frustrated person to a quiet place. Always pull them away from the crowd and talk with them privately.
  3. Act...don't react.
  4. Love them. Show them through your kindness and respect that you truly care about their family.
  5. Listen to them...even if they are wrong.
  6. Carefully explain the "why" behind the policy/procedure.
  7. Apologize for upsetting them...even if they are in the wrong.
  8. Comp them for the inconvenience it caused...even if it was their fault...maybe a free cup of coffee, a free meal, a free book, etc.
  9. Remember there is usually a reason why people are angry, being rude, etc. They are normally going through a rough time. There is something going on in their lives that is stressing them out or causing them hurt. They are simply venting some of that anger toward you.
I had to live this out yesterday. A father was very, very angry because he didn't have a security tag for his child. He became very vocal in front of a large group of other parents. I asked him to go to a private place with me. He then proceeded to tell me that the safety guideline wasn't needed and that he would never return to our church again.

I calmly explained the "why" behind the guideline and he calmed down. I told him how much he and his family meant to our church. I apologized for any stress that we had caused him. I finished by giving him a coupon for a free family meal in our cafe.

He left in a better mood. I am hoping the comp does for him what it does for me at a restaurant....makes him consider returning.

Was he in the wrong? Yes. Are we going to change our safety/security policy? No way. But we are going to go the second mile to love on and care for people...even if they are in the wrong. We're going to comp them...even if they are angry without cause.

I am hoping he will return. We did everything we could to help him walk out the door with a better taste in his mouth.

Remember...a gentle spirit turns away anger. In other words...comp 'em!

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