How to Handle Highly Charged Situations
Have you ever been in a conversation that just seemed to implode? Accusations start flying, blame gets tossed around, there’s a lot of yelling and not a lot of listening? It can be frustrating, exhausting — even scary. And usually it comes up when you’re completely unprepared! When you step into an emotional land mine of a conversation, there are six steps to keep in mind that can really help you keep your cool.
- Don’t overreact — stay centered and don’t be drawn into a battle that you didn’t know had been scheduled! Don’t respond to someone else’s anger or hurt with your own.
- When speaking, avoid being defensive. Your goal isn’t to try to justify the situation and further frustrate the person — it’s to get the conversation to a better place, a place with solutions!
- Listen to the other person, and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of the other person’s point of view. Slightly restate and repeat what you’ve heard — so that you both know that you’re listening and understanding the issue.
- Once you’ve listened to the initial outburst and repeated the concerns, explain your intention for the rest of the conversation. Is this something that can be addressed now — or is it going to require more thought or input?
- If the conversation doesn’t cool off relatively quickly, acknowledge the strong emotions and suggest that you take a break. Agree on a time and place to meet again when you are both cooler. Even 10 minutes away from the conversation can help!
- Take the high road — thank the person for his or her honesty and decision to directly express his or her issues or concerns. You can’t, after all, fix a problem you don’t even know about.
The information in this article came from National Seminars and STAR12’s How to Handle Negativity, Bad Attitudes, and Toxic People in the Workplace training. Sign up for this course or one of our other great training sessions at NationalSeminarsTraining.com today!
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