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Changing Work Persona - Better Or Worse

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, let me begin by bringing you up to speed and tell you that I work in property management. I usually handle clients playing a "good cop" role and being cheerful and accommodating their needs, even if it compromises the way I do business. This usually works most of the time, but lately I have noticed this has come back to bite me in the ass. Client comes in to take possession of property before their scheduled move-in date for example. They state that I told them that this was okay when clearly I did not. But my word against theirs, and higher ups will always favor them.

Anyways, was wondering some of your personal experiences in changing your work persona, specifically when handling clients/customers. Starting next week I am taking a more firm stance and not try to buddy up to any clients/customers. My answer will be concise and firm. This may be interpreted as cold and uncaring, but I am tired of playing nice and then getting a tirade from upper management. I'm afraid though this may affect my numbers, but oh well.

Sorry for venting.
post #2 of 11
You probably come off as a bitch (no offense). Adjust your body language and they will take your tone more seriously. Good luck.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto View Post
You probably come off as a @#!*% (no offense). Adjust your body language and they will take your tone more seriously. Good luck.

None taken. Opening up for advice and criticism. And you are correct about body language. I normally take a relaxed approach, leaning back, crossing leg, etc. It also might be the job as a whole that is making me this frustrated, but that's for another day.
post #4 of 11
I'm a very accommodating person at work, both with my colleagues, my internal clients and my suppliers. I despise hardasses who try to act like Gordon Gekko all the time. It;'s counterproductive, it's stupid, and in most business it's totally useless.

That said, I know when and where to lay down the law. I did so last week with a client who was criticizing me for not bending to some of her requests. I raised my voice and told her that if she didn't get into line immediately her project would die at my desk. Since I'd already been given the benediction of my managers to cancel it due to the compressed deadline this was definitely in my power to do. She quickly apologized rather profusely and made sure to knock it off.

The point here is that you don't need to change your office persona. What you must do, however, is cultivate an image of someone who will go out of their way to help the organization but won't be pushed around.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
I'm a very accommodating person at work, both with my colleagues, my internal clients and my suppliers. I despise hardasses who try to act like Gordon Gekko all the time. It;'s counterproductive, it's stupid, and in most business it's totally useless.

That said, I know when and where to lay down the law. I did so last week with a client who was criticizing me for not bending to some of her requests. I raised my voice and told her that if she didn't get into line immediately her project would die at my desk. Since I'd already been given the benediction of my managers to cancel it due to the compressed deadline this was definitely in my power to do. She quickly apologized rather profusely and made sure to knock it off.

The point here is that you don't need to change your office persona. What you must do, however, is cultivate an image of someone who will go out of their way to help the organization but won't be pushed around.

This is what would work. I definitely need to work on that last bit and stopping being a "Yes Man" and learn to say "No" (when applicable of course).
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imhoff View Post
Okay, let me begin by bringing you up to speed and tell you that I work in property management. I usually handle clients playing a "good cop" role and being cheerful and accommodating their needs, even if it compromises the way I do business. This usually works most of the time, but lately I have noticed this has come back to bite me in the ass. Client comes in to take possession of property before their scheduled move-in date for example. They state that I told them that this was okay when clearly I did not. But my word against theirs, and higher ups will always favor them.

Anyways, was wondering some of your personal experiences in changing your work persona, specifically when handling clients/customers. Starting next week I am taking a more firm stance and not try to buddy up to any clients/customers. My answer will be concise and firm. This may be interpreted as cold and uncaring, but I am tired of playing nice and then getting a tirade from upper management. I'm afraid though this may affect my numbers, but oh well.

Sorry for venting.

Make sure to underline how what is in writing is what counts, no need to change your personality (how the fuck will you do that anyway?), sending some email saying once again what the fucking move in date was would have solved the problem.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuuma View Post
Make sure to underline how what is in writing is what counts, no need to change your personality (how the fuck will you do that anyway?), sending some email saying once again what the fucking move in date was would have solved the problem.

The form (paperwork) in which they signed and initialed stated the move-in date. This was done weeks ago. They of course come into my office expecting keys and such, but the property is not ready until the stated date on form. They claimed I said otherwise and began crying. I am out of the office when this occurs and not there to defend myself and receive call from higher ups. The clients throw a fit. WTF.

Just this week has been hell. Sort of using SF as a place to vent. Need a drink now.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imhoff View Post
The form (paperwork) in which they signed and initialed stated the move-in date. This was done weeks ago. They of course come into my office expecting keys and such, but the property is not ready until the stated date on form. They claimed I said otherwise and began crying. I am out of the office when this occurs and not there to defend myself and receive call from higher ups. The clients throw a fit. WTF.

Just this week has been hell. Sort of using SF as a place to vent. Need a drink now.

I'm all for accommodating clients/suppliers as long as:

1) It doesn't run counter to business.
2) It doesn't set a precedent.

These things require judgement. Saying no to everything all the time is just as bad for business as always saying yes.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imhoff View Post
The form (paperwork) in which they signed and initialed stated the move-in date. This was done weeks ago. They of course come into my office expecting keys and such, but the property is not ready until the stated date on form. They claimed I said otherwise and began crying. I am out of the office when this occurs and not there to defend myself and receive call from higher ups. The clients throw a fit. WTF.

Just this week has been hell. Sort of using SF as a place to vent. Need a drink now.

I think one good place to start is having and knowing your boundaries and sticking to them.

In this case, it sounds like you were in the right, but the new tenant wanted special accommodations made and ultimately went around to to your boss to get it done. That seems like a bitch move and really can't be avoided as long as your boss goes along with it.

In this particular case, I'm not sure how you behaved, but highlighting the fact that it the move-in date was clearly stated on the lease, and not being swayed by their attempts to convince you of a conversation (regarding earlier move in) that didn't happen (I assume), nor responding to a plain and simple temper tantrum with the crying would probably be the best you can do. I don't think you need to be 'bad cop' so much as simple 'sturdy' and resolute in what you're saying if that makes any sense.

Push comes to shove, you can explain to your boss the situation, what happened and he can ultimately choose to accommodate them if he wants--he is the boss, after all.
post #10 of 11
Sounds like you got taken advantage of this time. Is it happening often? I wouldn't let one couple change the way you do business. As long as you didn't over promise them as to when they could move in and the paper work has the date they were to get the keys by, I don't see how its your fault.
post #11 of 11
This isn't a persona thing; it's a personality thing. Know the limits of what you're prepared to let tenants get away with, and then stick to them. You don't have to do it in a hardassed or mean way. You can still be a nice guy with a friendly demeanor who happens to maintain boundaries. Be more assertive -- and, by that, I don't mean "put on the appearance of being a dick." I mean calmly and politely sticking up for yourself or the limits when pressed.
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