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When setting up the company, we thought it was important to make sure that everyone had some guidance on coping with stress on a day to day level. Whilst caveated that it was not from a medical professional, we felt that it was important to make sure that we had a foundation based on understanding and care.

There are certain elements to recruiting participants in market research which make this guidance invaluable. One such instance is when working with list projects and worst of all, cold lists. They are warm in the sense that they are someone's customers, cold in the sense that they have no idea who you are and what you are calling about.

A recent project reminded me of how important it is to maintain that Positive Mental Attitude, or PMA (to quote current TV shows) in many aspects of this job, and especially when dialling. This one itself was actually okay – no one was rude, and whilst there were A LOT of refusals, no one slammed the phone down on me…positively unheard of!

However, when I got to the 5th refusal in a row, my hope did start to dim and by the 10th, I definitely needed a little break. I had to remind myself that I can’t let it show, either in my voice (lacklustre, frustrated) or in my day (there are other people I need to speak to, and be my chirpy self!). Yes, it is difficult, especially when you receive the harsh replies – I have had some that would turn your hair blue, honestly, some of the things I have been told are quite shocking!

I still needed to crack on, the list wasn’t going to call itself. Pushing myself to 'get on up' made me think of whether I had ever been advised on how to cope with this in previous roles, and I realised that I hadn’t.

After these projects, I have made sure to introduce a 'little breaks policy' (which also extends to any dialler we have in and not just our contracted staff) - if you feel yourself getting short or down after dialling for a bit, leave it for 10 minutes and go back.

It can be tough out there, but thankfully understanding clients, and kind members of the public make a tough job that little bit easier.

In today’s world, I think all companies should have a stress / mental health plan, ours is a little mindfulness guide and we hope it will make our employees feel like they are not being snowed under, too stressed or not heard when they come to work.

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