Tactics to Diffuse Anger in the Office
When office politics, disagreements, bad moods get the best of people, angry outbursts are likely to erupt. When we see this happening, our natural reactions are to turn and walk away (resist the anger), or engage the angry party by becoming accusatory or defensive.
Both reactions are not helpful to you or the situation. AVOID phrases like:
"How dare you!"
"That is not true!"
DO learn how to diffuse the angry situation. LISTEN to the angry person. ASK QUESTIONS to focus them and get more information for yourself. STAND UP TO THEM and try to FIND A SOLUTION.
Put your own emotions and aside, and take a calm, objective to approach to solving the matter peacefully. You could say...
"I didn't know you felt that way. Tell me more."
"What else concerns you?"
"Your point really resonates with me."
"To really understand your point, I need specific examples."
"I am here to find a resolution. I'm not here to be verbally abused. One more comment like that and I will no longer listen."
"When you speak to me this way, I don't feel inclined to help you."
"Let's fix the problem, not point fingers."
"How do you see us resolving the problem?"
Keep in mind, the angry person may need time to vent their emotions before they are willing to find a solution. Help him or her calm down first before beginning conflict management.
Source: Power Phrases! by Meryl Runion