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A whole

LOT of innovation from AIMS

It’s important to remember that there’s always a reason for their outburst. While their reaction may not be fully justified, they perceive they have somehow been wronged.

they perceive they have somehow been wronged. When we encounter this confrontational behavior, our best strategy should include getting curious about why the person is reacting this way to the situation. What is this person’s perception of the situation? What is causing them to respond in this way? What is really happening here? When we can set aside our immediate defensiveness and instead respond with curiosity around what the real issues might be, we become better able to listen to them with sincere interest. Curiosity not only helps us to identify potential solutions to the issue, it can also reduce the stress we feel during a difficult conversation—better for them, better for us.

Questioning Our Assumptions Most of us tend to make decisions based on assumptions, life experiences, and our view of the world. The fact is, we rarely question our assumptions (after all, we created them). Of course, our experience can be a good thing, but it can also mislead us at times. The key is realizing that you can consciously choose to change your thought patterns when you find yourself feeling challenged or confronted by someone. If you’re responding defensively, stop and ask yourself: ■  Do I perceive danger in this situation? ■  If not, is their reaction about something I’ve done or said? ■  What’s contributing to their angry reaction in this situation?

■  Is

there something about this I don’t understand? When we’re able to get curious about what is happening, it helps suspend our judgement and feelings of defensiveness regarding our perception of their message. Asking clarifying questions demonstrates that you are listening to them and that you want to better understand their issue. When we can change our mindset and mental approach to their hostility, it can lead to improved communication and may provide us with a greater likelihood of positively addressing their issue.

Hearing Others The fact of the matter is this: Everyone wants to be heard. It becomes our professional responsibility to take the high road in these difficult exchanges with customers. We are more effective when we can respond with curiosity instead of anger or defensiveness. There’s an additional benefit to us: We can learn to feel less anxiety about unpleasant interactions. The next time you encounter a hostile customer and you feel yourself reacting with defensiveness, stop and change your mindset to include genuine curiosity. After all, who doesn’t want to feel less stress and a greater sense of accomplishment? ◆

LPR and e-Ticketing The combination of AIMS

License Plate Reader (LPR) and e-Ticketing technology empowers

your enforcement operation like never before.

• Powered by Genetec’s AutoVu hardware and

customized to your application – AIMS Mobile LPR system automates plate capture and enforcement, optimizes lot use, and enables citation issuance right from the vehicle.

• AIMS Ticket Management tracks the life of a

parking ticket from the moment of issuance through payment – reducing paperwork and enables citation issuance from the vehicle or directly in-office through AIMS.

Learn more about the AIMS Parking Management Software suite – and

schedule an AIMS LPR and e-Ticketing demo – at

CINDY CAMPBELL is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist. She is available for onsite and online training and professional development and can be reached at campbell@parking-mobility.org.

PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / MAY 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 13

Profile for International Parking & Mobility Institute

Parking & Mobility, May 2021  

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