How to deal with highly emotional people

As a leader, there are times you need to handle situations where others (your team, peer, customer, supplier) are in a highly emotional state. 

 

Sometimes people at work aren't happy with the decision, or something's happened and they get really upset or really angry about something, and then you're there and you're taking the brunt of that.

 

Here are my top three tips on how to respond and diffuse the situation. 

 

  1. Listen to them, hear them out. Allow them the opportunity just to get it off their chest and hold the space for them. What happens is if we try to shut this down too quickly, it will flare up again because the fire's not out yet.
  2. While they're talking give them some verbal cues and some non-verbal cues that continue to validate them.
  3. Once they finish getting it off their chest, say something along the lines of 'Gee, I can't even imagine what it would be like to experience what you've just experienced. In fact, I reckon that if I did go through that same situation, I wouldn't be handling it anywhere near as well as what you are right now.' 

*Watch the video for a more detailed explanation of tip 3. 

 

Once you handle the immediate situation and the person has calmed down, it's then time to work out the next step to resolve the issue at hand.

 

As a leader, there are times you need to handle situations where others (your team, peer, customer, supplier) are in a highly emotional state. 

 

Sometimes people at work aren't happy with the decision, or something's happened and they get really upset or really angry about something, and then you're there and you're taking the brunt of that.

 

Here are my top three tips on how to respond and diffuse the situation. 

 

  1. Listen to them, hear them out. Allow them the opportunity just to get it off their chest and hold the space for them. What happens is if we try to shut this down too quickly, it will flare up again because the fire's not out yet.
  2. While they're talking give them some verbal cues and some non-verbal cues that continue to validate them.
  3. Once they finish getting it off their chest, say something along the lines of 'Gee, I can't even imagine what it would be like to experience what you've just experienced. In fact, I reckon that if I did go through that same situation, I wouldn't be handling it anywhere near as well as what you are right now.' 

*Watch the video for a more detailed explanation of tip 3. 

 

Once you handle the immediate situation and the person has calmed down, it's then time to work out the next step to resolve the issue at hand.

 

Watch the video below (3 minutes 53 seconds) to hear more.

 

Finally, I have a question for you. If you could have a private conversation with me, what two questions would you like to ask me?

 

Send me your questions to [email protected] 

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