I tell my clients to mimic and then change the tone of a situation that may escalate with either a customer or a co-worker and it works. If someone starts to elevate his or her voice, you do it as well- but briefly. Raise your voice to regain their attention and then calmly lower your voice, changing the tone to positively express your message. If someone crosses their arms in anger then you should do the same, just make sure you transition to unfolding your arms and speaking with a welcome body image to showcase a willingness to listen, change action and welcome feedback.
All of this may sound hokey but it does work. The next time you are in a debate with someone – anyone- remember to mimic and then to change the mimic into a positive stance or tone. I can promise you external and internal customer relations will change for the better. Your profit margins will thank you!
Twyla N. Garrett