Choose to not be offended and shift your perspective, is that even possible? In today’s world, it can be hard not to take things personally.
Are you frustrated with difficult clients? Are you having frequent arguments with another house cleaner?
Communication in relationships is important, especially within your house cleaning business.
Listen: Choose to NOT be offended
Watch: Choose to NOT be offended
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Choose to Not Be Offended
Choose to not be offended and how that applies to your house cleaning business. We are in an era of miscommunication, and that is the nicest way to say it. I was watching TV yesterday and there was a very prominent woman that came on and she was offended because everyone seemed that she wasn’t important, and she seemed invisible to them.
And I sat there saying, “Oh, girlfriend, it’s not you. It’s the entire world that we live in.” We’re all married to our cell phones, and we have earbuds in our ears, and worse than that, the new era provides us with face masks so that we can now cover half of our faces. Therefore, not only can you not see us, but you can’t read our lips. So, it’s not that you’re invisible. It’s that we have annihilated the human element from our society.
House Cleaners Get Offended When Customers Judge Their Work
Now, as house cleaners, we get offended when customers judge our work and we’re like, “How dare they?” Then you get angry house cleaners. But guess what? You can choose to not be offended because the customers are coming from a completely different place.
I have three stories that I want to illustrate very quickly so that you can understand the nuances of the communication that we’re in today. The other day I was with some folks and there was a fight. There were two gentlemen having a conversation on the tarmac at the airport. And one of them started yelling at the other one and flailing his arms. When we got inside, the man is like, “You disrespected me.” And the other guy was like, “No, I was trying to communicate with you.” And then they looked to me as if I would solve the debate.
And I said, “Well, in all due respect, you are out on the tarmac at the airport and planes are coming and going and it’s about 140 decibels out there. Not to mention that you both were wearing earplugs and face masks. And you asked him a question. So, I completely understand why he did what he did, but I don’t think he was angry, I think he was trying to communicate with you.”
Some House Cleaners Fight With Clients
Then there is scenario number two. There’s a girl that comes to me for consulting, and she runs a very professional house cleaning company, and is very successful. But the other day she got in a huge rift with a customer because the customer did not understand her.
And the girl that I was speaking to has been through years of therapy. So, she has worked through these issues, and she thought how dare this customer not understand her issue. Well, just because you’ve gone through years of therapy doesn’t mean that the customer understands the same things that you do. Its understandable that you’re upset that you weren’t understood the way that you communicated, but the truth is because you’ve gone through years of therapy that don’t mean she has to.
So, at the end of the day the customer is the one that writes the paycheck. And so, if she had qualms, questions, or if she had opinions, that’s her right. So, before you jump out of your skin and get all upset, choose not to be offended.
Some House Cleaners Get Offended in Facebook Groups
Now, another scenario. I run a private Facebook group for cleaning business owners. There was a fight that broke out the other day between two business owners. One is a business owner of about a month and comes from a corporate background, and the other one is a cleaning business owner of about 16 years.
So, they talked to each other and started attacking one other. And one woman is like, “You don’t know me.” You’re right, you don’t know each other because you’re your new friends here in this group on Facebook. You don’t know each other. So that is a fact.
The second fact is one of you is basing your information on your month in the business. The other one of you is basing your information based on 16 years in the business. What she’s seeing is through a filter that comes from a corporate background, maybe a homeowner who hired a house cleaner, and now a month of being a house cleaner herself. The other person is based on 16 years of being in the house cleaning industry, going out, negotiating, navigating contracts and customers’ homes. Two completely different reference points.
Both are Correct in Their Assessments
So, in all fairness, standing back, they’re both correct in their assessments. It’s that they’re two completely different viewpoints. So, again choose to not be offended. You have a choice.
Right now we live in an era where everyone is so hyper-aware of each other. We are aware of that person not looking at us, that person not talking to us, that person not treating us the way we want to be treated.
Well, we live in an era where people are glued to their phones. They have earbuds in their ears. They have face masks on their faces. We have completely erased the whole entire human element of interaction.
I Grew Up With Lots of Face-to-Face Interaction
Back in the days when I grew up, we had front porches and people sat on them and shared a cup of tea with the neighbors and chatted for hours. Also, we picked up the phone and had real conversations with people.
Then we met people out in the street, and we’d wander out there to pick up our mail and chit chat with the neighbors. There was a lot of face to face interaction, lots of conversations. We’d say, “Hey, why don’t you guys come over for dinner tonight?” And we’d hang out.
We had friends over and we’d play. We’d ride bicycles together and we’d tell stories and hang out and visit.
A Lot of That is Gone Now
But a lot of that is gone. A lot of that has moved to a social media era, where we can have conversations with people online while we are in the privacy of our own home. No one knows what we look like or sound like. They don’t know who we are.
And it’s easy to attack people going, “You don’t know me, you don’t know my story.” They don’t. And as house cleaners, when we go to a customer’s home and the customer spat something, or they get excited, or they complain at us, or they point something out, it’s not because they’re angry with us.
It’s not because they hate us. It’s because they’ve paid money and they want something in value for exchange.
I Want Us to Choose Not to Be Offended
So I want for us to choose to not be offended, because moving forward every single interaction, whether it’s a customer, a prospect or an employee, it affects the way that we feel and the way that we do our jobs if we choose to be offended.
Because if we are offended, we are going to carry this huge ginormous chip on our shoulder and think that the world is not fair, we are a victim and life is bad. Well, life is tough enough without you punishing yourself with all this hate and anxiety. So, my suggestion to you is to choose to not be offended.
People Are Trying To Communicate With You
If somebody says something you’re offended by, say, “Wait a second. All things considered; he’s trying to communicate with me.” With the woman who is communicating with the house cleaner, it’s not because she didn’t understand the years of therapy, it’s because she was coming from a different place.
“Hey, I paid for this money. I expect something specific to happen. It has to do with the money I paid and what I get in exchange.”
As far as the Facebook groups go, please, if you’re going to go into a public forum, understand other people have a tough life. There’s lots of stuff that happens on the other end to the people that we’re talking to. We don’t know the hardships that they’ve been through. We don’t know what’s keeping them going. So, let’s choose to not be offended as we move forward because your business depends on it, and your friendships depend on it.
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