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This is wonderful advice. The challenge for customer service is often that during a day or in a situation like the one I described, they come in contact with people of all persuasions and levels of awareness.

So having the personal awareness of how to help diverse people reach the 'unstuck' point is very effective in avoiding confrontation or, worse, ill feelings.

Dick Hallstein, one of the more gifted consultants I've had the opportunity to work with, taught us about 'hooks'.

These are situations or perceptions or reactions that take us right up the ladder of inference, from observable data straight to action, without much thought or reflection.

Getting stuck with hooks is common for all of us. We each have situations that make us 'four + crazy" at times. For me, that is not having a direction. Plans can change, but sitting still and not having a goal to move toward is hard for me.

I get stuck at work when no one will make a decision or develop a plan of action. Knowing this is a hook of mine, I am able to come to meetings with conversation starters or sample goals to help guide the teams I work with.

Knowing your 'sticking points' helps prevent you from getting stuck.


My exact words were 'lean forward', not the same as move forward. Communication followed by action allows people to unlock the state of quasi-paralysis of stuck and absorb acknowledging the situation.

Frustration is often the result of the perception that nothing is being done to help us out. Once we truly 'know' that something is being done, even is ever so slight, we can relax the expectation muscle and deal with our own emotional state.

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