Three Skills To Practice In A Cancel Culture

According to, cancel culture is the "practice of withdrawing support for (cancelling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive." As a sales leader, you might find this movement eye-opening—and alarming. How can you prevent customers or prospects from "cancelling" your business?

According to Shonnah Hughes, global product growth and innovation evangelist at GetFeedback, it starts with emotional intelligence. Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as "the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions as well as the emotions of others."

Your customers and prospects pick up on your emotions. If you are angry, they will likely feel angry. On the flip side, if you are enthusiastic, they likely will feel enthusiasm. If you want to learn how to bolster your emotional intelligence, read on. We share Hughes' tips to use emotional intelligence to improve people's opinions of your business in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Self-Awareness. Hughes says you may view yourself in one light, but your customers see things in an entirely different way. For example, what you consider as being professional, your customers might see as being curt or unfriendly. Hughes says it's important to consider your tone, word choice and speech patterns. When you remain courteous, your customers are much more likely to accept a gentle "no." By being self-aware, you can help make what might be a difficult interaction into a productively pleasant one.

Hughes recommends asking yourself:

  • What are you doing at this moment?
  • How are you feeling about it?
  • How will it affect your interactions?

2. Self-Regulation. Many people struggle to listen to a customer complaint and remain neutral. It's human nature to want to respond emotionally. However, Hughes points out that regulation allows you to stay calm and adapt to new situations. When you commit to self-regulation, you can respond in helpful ways like this:

  • Customer: My invoice is wrong!
  • Employee: I am here to help. Let me look into it and resolve the issue.
  • Customer: This isn't what I wanted.
  • Employee: I am sorry to hear that. How can I make things right?

3. Empathy. According to Hughes, being able to empathize with how your customers and prospects think or feel is one of the most important aspects of an excellent customer experience. To truly connect with others, you must earn their trust. This begins with empathy. Hughes says consider your customers who may have waited a long time to get a sales rep on the phone. To build empathy, try saying something like, "I'm sorry you have had to deal with this ..."

Your customers know they have many options and they are not afraid of "cancelling" your business if they are mistreated. That's why it's important to work on your emotional intelligence skills. Make sure you and your team are responding to people appropriately and listening to understand where they are coming from. When you strive to improve your self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy, you help build stronger and more authentic relationships with your audience.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Shonnah Hughes is the global product growth and innovation evangelist at GetFeedback by Survey Monkey.

filed under June 2020
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