How to Diffuse an Angry Person–Or an Angry Situation
February 5, 2014
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Marceil came home with some materials the other night and I was looking through it. A couple of sheets really stood out to me. They were about diffusing customer relations situations. I adapted it here in terms of facing an angry person or an angry situation. This is not about “how to” placate or please–but how to diffuse so to eventually resolve an angry situation.
1. Assume the person has a right to be angry. The reason for this is if you assume they have a right to be angry you can be listening for what the root cause of the anger is in the first place.
2. No matter how much emotion you are hearing–DON’T respond to it emotionally. What you are hearing IS NOT personal–even if the person tries to make it personal, don’t take it personally.
3. Be patient and speak softly. Remember you didn’t take this on–it came to you. Take a breath–don’t interrupt.
4. Repeat back what you heard–but with the tone of a question: “I heard you say…” or better yet: “Did I just hear you say?…”
5. Own the problem. Help them out. Investigate the issue. Determine what went wrong or what is going wrong.
6. Correct things if you can. If you can’t correct things try to find someone who can.
7. Follow up. Email, text, phone, or even drop them a note. Find out how they are doing at a later time.
If you try to help diffuse an angry person or angry situation you will be surprise how much it helps you develop depth in your own life!