Nearly all of us are prone to anger at some point. Although it’s not ideal to show this at work, often emotions can bleed out into the open affecting the people around us.
Although it’s not ideal to have to work around people that have mood fluctuations sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. If you are working with someone that has difficulty with emotion regulation, here are 3 ways to approach this.
Allow the person time to talk
Sometimes there might be something that people just need to get off their chests therefore sometimes allowing them to talk can work very well. Leave a pause at the end let them breathe and understand what they’ve just said. Then be careful about your response. Maybe an empathetic response is what they need to hear. For example “I can hear that this has been challenging for you, what can we do to move forwards?
Offer to have the conversation at another time
If emotions are running high particularly from both sides it can be a good idea to suggest either a break completely to allow people to gather their thoughts or you could suggest maybe walking it out together. Movement will re-distribute any blood flow from the muscles which occurs when you go into a fight or flight response and will increase the blood flow to the brain which helps improve cognitive function and therefore logical thought.
Coach them through difficult conversations
Language patterns are imperative. If you have something difficult to say to this person you could try asking their opinion first instead of telling them. Sometimes coaching them through to a response can be really useful as opposed to delivering difficult information very directly. Although direct response is sometimes necessary it can be a good idea to practice how you’re going to have the conversation and what this will sound like to the other person. This may therefore reduce the likelihood of a not so favourable response. There is an article on perceptual positioning here which you can use for this.
There is no excuse for severe anger which drive significant fear into people in the workplace. However, when anger and frustration does appear how we react to that person is extremely important. Considering all of the above will help you move forward into a more harmonious, productive, and therefore effective conversation.
Caroline Langston is the Co-Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of recruitersgiveback.org a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery from the ICF, Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC. Also further certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. www.successCL.com www.recruitersgiveback.org