Whitney Hess, certified coach and author, urged credit unions to practice compassionate communication. "This will help resolve conflicts more peacefully," she said. "Compassionate communication assumes all actions are attempts to meet needs, that all needs are universal, that all feelings are signs of needs met or unmet, and all conflicts are about strategies, not needs."
According to Hess, money is not a universal need, it is a strategy to meet a need. "That need might be security, stability or freedom, but money is always a strategy." Credit union members tend to worry about accessibility, affordability, fraud and literacy. If someone says, "My account got hacked and now I don't trust you," it presents a challenging problem to solve because it is out of the credit union's control. "You will need to come up with new strategies for meeting this person's need for trust because the previous method failed. This person needs compassion, guidance and comfort. Ask questions, allowing the person to feel heard and understood, to matter."