SOLVE THE FREAKIN’ PROBLEM!
According to a Gallup poll, one in four employees constantly feels work-related anger. One of the essential qualities for a business leader is the ability to defuse a tense situation. Women and Men can do this simply by modeling the behavior they seek from coworkers, using a four-step approach called H.E.A.L.:
1. Highlight. When confronted by an angry person, it is important to let the individual know that their behavior is becoming overly emotional.
2. Empathize. Accept some of the blame for the situation — whether or not it is deserved.
3. Ask. Ask the person to calm down and discuss a resolution.
4. Leave. If all else fails, it is time to exit the situation, give the person some time to cool off, and try to reinitiate contact later.
When a confrontational situation does not end well, it cannot be ignored. A woman and man should take it upon herself to follow up with the angry person when she has had time to calm down. This contact should be personal, never by email. In addition, a leader will and should always resist the urge to talk badly about the difficult coworker or tell others about the encounter.
Women and man can also benefit from two simple anger management techniques: visualization and distraction. Visualization involves imagining anger as water that slowly heats, comes to a boil, then becomes calm and sways gently from left to right like the liquid in a lava lamp. In distraction, the angry person focuses intently on a favorite photo or quote until the anger lifts.
In general, even a serious confrontation should be viewed not as a crisis but as a normal part of the business world. That perception makes it easier to clear away stress or panic — and to solve the underlying problem.