Larsen’s Words that Don’t Work: “It’s No Big Deal”

This is my brilliantly talented gorgeous little doggy girl, Phoebe Einstein. She is a very important part of my family and we love her very very much.

I remember very clearly when we first got her and I took her to our vet to be spayed. When the technician told me that she would have to stay overnight and I couldn’t pick her up until 4 p.m. the next day, my response was, “Oh my gosh.  That long?  She’s going to think I’ve abandoned her.  She’s going to be scared.”

The tech responded (while looking down, writing something on her chart), “It’s no big deal.  She’ll be fine.”

Oh wait.  Back up.  Hold the dang presses. It IS a big deal to ME.  A very big deal.

I am assuming that the tech thought she was allaying my fears.  The fact is that it wasn’t an effective way to respond to my comment.  Here’s what would have worked much better:

“I understand your concerns, Mrs. Larsen.  I’m sure if she were my puppy, I’d feel the same way.  Let me assure you that we will give her lots of love and attention to make her feel as safe and comfortable as possible.”

Now that would have made me feel better.

From your dog-loving motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, ready to play ball



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. I agree Linda!  Look at that face!  I’m surprised a vet tech wasn’t sensitive to how much pet owners adore their children, I mean pets.  Do not discount someone’s honest feelings, acknowledge them first at least and then add the placation. 

  2. So true, Linda and Polly. When we discount another’s feelings we certainly aren’t coming from a loving place of concern. I bet Phoebe Einstein enjoys living with motivational speaker Linda Larsen who obviously loves her dearly.

  3. Wow. I really needed this lesson. I tend to say things like “it’s no big deal” without thinking of how I am minimizing the feelings of the listener. Yikes. Time to hold up the mirror and look into it and see where I need to fix me! Thanks Linda!

  4. Such a simple fix – look at your customer, let them know you hear their concern and validate them while letting them know things will be okay.  Wow – I know a lot of places that could use this advice!  We are switching our cable/phone service and we were sold on the new company early March.  The install is finally going to take place tomorrow.  With many phone calls, wire-repair guys, and even loss of service on one of my phone lines, the company sent an evaluation for me to fill out about their service!!!  Very funny that no one has apologized for all the unexpected delays and re-scheduling of their technicians.  I know this doesn’t compare to Phoebe Einstein and you leaving her at the vet overnight, but the advice you share crosses all lines.  Just once, I would like someone from the new company to say, “I am so sorry you’ve had to talk to so many people without having resolution to the problems yet! If that happened to me, I’d be really frustrated. Good news, we will be there tomorrow and I will personally follow up with you to see how things went.”  By the way, I’m with Kelly.  I say ‘It’s no big deal’ too, when I need to stop and validate first.  Lessons continue to be learned!!!

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