Working With the Public - Are you Ready?

Body Language
Body Language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Working with the public and providing information is one of the skills that has showed up in the Admin Jobs Today series that has finished its second week.  Seems like a pretty easy thing doesn't it.  But it isn't easy for everyone.  Some people are comfortable talking with people and answering questions but there's more to it than just that.  So, what else should you be able to do when working with the public?
You should be able to:
  • Handle challenging customers - do you know what different types of challenging customers are?  Do you know which customers you yourself find most challenging?  If you are aware of these already do you know how to handle them?
  • Being knowledgeable - you will be asked a lot of questions so you need to be knowledgeable about the product or service that your company offers.  Of course, you won't be able to answer every questions so you will need to know who in the company is most suited to direct them to.
  • Body language - do you know how your body language is perceived by others?  Do you know how to read others' non-verbal signals?  Often, when verbal communication is not coming across clearly, it is body language that many people turn to for cues.  If verbal language is not clear or inconsistent it is often non-verbal signals that people will remember the most!
  • Written skills - part of working with the public and providing information involved written communications.  Written communications are often not understood as it is intended when the communicator does not have good writing skills.  Can you word written communication so that even bad news doesn't seem so bad?  Can you convince people with your written communications?