Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Difficult Interactions - Toddler

At work, my entire department is learning a bit about lean processes/six sigma.  One of the training we are required to take is called "Difficult Interactions."

To be fair, I haven't taken the training yet but it was the talk of my cubicle walkway yesterday evening. Specifically, the following advice provided by the training (paraphrased):

                                  When having a difficult interaction or working with a frustrated co-worker or                                                 customer, repeat his or her name repeatedly (about 10x) to help diffuse the situation.                                    
As my behind me cubicle co-worker was gleefully exclaiming the wonders of these suggestions, Horn called to tell me that Hannabert was being particularly annoying (yep, used those words) because he was....repeatedly saying "dadda, dadda, dadda, dadda). As in Dadda, I want macaroni cheese. Dadda, I don't like it. Dadda I want cereal. Dadda I don't like it. Dadda...

Horn did NOT find it calming and soothing nor did it redirect his attention so I am not quite sure how using this technique in a business setting would be calming or soothing.

In fact, in a very formal poll (Facebook post), (excluding the one "oh you will miss it so much when you don't hear daddy" person who clearly didn't read the post) the consensus was, "you don't know me to call me by my first name" and "repeatedly calling me by my first name is condescending."

In fact, there are any number of suggestions that will probably work much better than repeatedly using a customer's first name.

Onto the other piece of advice:

                                   Repeatedly hit a pillow after the interaction to release stress (AKA Through a temper                                    tantrum when you are frustrated).

Personally, I would love to see this carried out in the workplace. In fact, there is an empty cube next to me that I am proposing we use as pillow central for all of our frustrating and difficult interactions we face each day. In fact, I imagine it looking like something below:

Back to the toddler, he is a toddler. He has great days where he listens and participates in projects and he has days where he doesn't listen and can't communicate effectively or efficiently with us. For example, he was a great "help" to Horn when they tried out the new tent (in our porch):

He has been great about putting his toys away after his bath.

He helps make breakfast.

He thinks that he is a cowboy.


  1. I hate when people use my name, even people I know, so I think it would really drive me nuts as part of a CS thing to calm me down (especially as most people usually pronounce it wrong anyway!).

  2. Our office went to a "lean" process too and some of the training was exactly as you described - unrealistic if that is the correct word. Kids are cute as always.