Archive for March, 2014

Sooner or later, we all face an angry employee as a reaction to termination, demotion, job performance, etc.  It is up to managers to defuse the situation, but how?

1) Stay calm.  Keep your tone of voice and volume in check.

2) Watch your nonverbal signs.  Make sure your body language is not confrontational (hands on hips), dismissive (eyes rolling), or defensive (arms crossed).  Avoid physical contact, even if it’s meant to be reassuring.

3) Be respectful.  Avoid embarrassing or calling out the employee.  Do not belittle.

4)  Allow the employee to talk.  Give the employee a chance to tell their side of the story.

5)  Use active listening.  Repeat back what the employee said on key issues, but in your own words.

6)  Retain control of the conversation.  End the meeting if the employee’s agitation is growing.  Inform him/her that you want to re-schedule the meeting after a brief cooling-off period.


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