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Remain Calm

How to defuse difficult situations.

This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

What do you do when: A customer returns damaged merchandise youknow left your store in excellentcondition . . . a supplier promises overnightdelivery of vital computer parts that show up a weeklater . . . a friend's son you hired parttime makes a habit of arriving for work late and leaving early?

You might fire your helper, find a new supplier and tell yourcustomer to keep the item she broke. Or you could adopt a morepositive approach to solving the conflicts you're bound toencounter running your small business. Here, four successfulentrepreneurs explain what strategies worked for them to keep adisagreement from erupting into a full-blown confrontation.

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