When visiting providers in their own home you may occasionally encounter confrontational situations. It is easy to blame the provider and label her as difficult. This fact sheet will help you look at these situations in different ways, with the goal of making them more successful.

Think about your feelings before you ring the doorbell. If you have the feeling –“I dread seeing this provider. She is always negative and resents my coming every month.”
Your attitude will be negative before the provider even opens her door.

The provider is also thinking, “great here she is again. I don’t want to deal with her finding fault with me today.”

With both of you having a negative attitude before the visit begins, it will not be successful.

Instead think about something positive the provider does and put a smile on your face and greet the provider warmly when she opens the door. This may put the provider off guard seeing a smile instead of a frown. Try to keep the visit positive. Praise the provider for something that you see.

Often you will be feeling frustrated because you are dealing with an issue that you have addressed multiple times in the past

For example: the provider is missing important paperwork in her file again. You have addressed this before and now you have to do it again.

Instead of sighing and accusing her of failing to do her paperwork, take a deep breath and let her know you are there to help.

Ask her why she thinks she is having a problem keeping her files up to date.

Listen to what she answers even if they sound like excuses you have heard before.

In a non-adversarial manner offer her some suggestions to help her be more organized.

Sometimes it is necessary to look at your own personality. If a visit repeatedly goes bad, it may be time to examine yourself. As you look at the following questions, think about your attitude when faced with difficult situations. Be honest with yourself and think carefully as you answer these questions.

Are you adversarial?

Are there some clients who simply rub you the wrong way based on personality or a past negative visiting experience?

Does your voice rise when engaging with a provider, who you may feel is uncooperative or disrespectful?

Do you adopt confrontational body language in response to that of a provider who may be angry or upset?

If you’ve answered, yes, to any of these questions there are some things you may want to consider. Your visit is no place for adversarial behavior. This type of behavior will not result in a positive outcome for either you or the provider. Not only is this type of interaction unproductive but it can also contribute to a tense and stressful situation for children.

Sometimes it may be necessary to brain storm your problem with someone else. Ask other Monitors how they would handle the provider. Examine your attitude about this provider. Changing your attitude can set a positive tone allowing for a more positive experience at your visit.

Occasionally it may be clear that no matter what you do will change the dynamics of the visit. Talk with your supervisor about what you have tried to do and determine when it is appropriate for you to turn the provider over to someone else.

It is your responsibility to try to turn your visit into a productive and successful visit. You are the professional and you cannot expect the provider to make the change. Prepare ahead of time and anticipate the negativity from the provider. Smiling and being positive will set a new and different tone to a usually negative visit. It may take you a couple of visits to turn the situation around. But instead of leaving the home frustrated and angry, you will have the satisfaction of having tried. A positive attitude will make your job more enjoyable and productive.