How To Deal With Aggressive People At Work

How To Deal With Aggressive People At Work

The following tips provides a better way of dealing with aggressive people  in your everyday experiences at work and in business relationships. 

  • Sweet revenge is often not sweet at all; instead it is often sour and leaves a very bitter taste.

  • The problem with seeking revenge is that it often ends up seeking you—or you might fan the flames that end up burning you.

  • Once you let go of the anger that’s fueling your revenge, you can better think through your options and what it’s really best to do.

  • If you feel like you continually have to walk on eggshells around someone, maybe you should be walking away.

  • If you have to stay around someone and feel you are walking on eggshells, find ways to handle the eggs—and that person— more gently so the shells don’t break.

  • If you find yourself in a box of eggshells—say with a group of supersensitive people—then be light on your feet, so you don’t shake up and shatter the eggs.

  • If you do break the eggs, try making an omelet. In other words, try to find a soft, gentle way to make repairs in the relationship to smooth things over by building up the person’s self-esteem, which may have been shattered like the egg.

  • If you’re fighting about the facts, sometimes that’s because you and others don’t know what the facts really are.

  • Don’t just imagine or assume what the facts must be; find out when you don’t know or aren’t sure.

  • Sometimes firmly held opinions are inversely related to what people really know; if so, seek to reverse the equation by providing them with the facts.

  • To turn down the volume on a conflict, sometimes it’s better to have someone do it for you.

  • Just like you get rid of static on the radio to get a clear channel, in a conflict, bringing things out in the open can promote clarity and get rid of the noise.

  • If you sense that someone is acting covertly against you, that’s like detecting low-level static on the radio. Seek to eliminate the problem as soon as possible, so the channel—and the relationship—becomes clear again.

  • Remember that people have their own receptions—like those on a radio—and tune in to different levels, so that some people are more sensitive than others. What one person means as a quiet joking comment can sound like a loud hurtful insult to the other. If so, it’s time to turn down the volume on that broadcast, too.

  • If you’re facing a fired-up employee, a first step is to put out the fire.

  • When others are raging, think of ways of engaging.

  • Just as honey can make the medicine go down, sweet talk can sometimes be just the medicine to put down office conflicts.

  • Avoid threatening legal action when someone’s already enraged and upset. These could be fighting words that provoke even more fight from someone ready to go off.

  • When you least expect it, the unexpected will occur; so prepare for the unexpected in case you don’t get what you expect.

  • When situations change, so can people; so be prepared for people to change their attitudes and their actions when they are placed in different situations and play different roles.

  • Your preparations are only as good as your predictions, and sometimes your predictions can be wrong. So prepare for the unpredictable, too.

  • Just because you know things happened a certain way doesn’t mean that others know that or want things to be that way. So be prepared that someone else may tell a different story, whether he believes it or just wants others to believe his point of view.

  • Don’t expect people always to tell the truth, even in court. If there’s an incentive to lie and a good chance of not getting caught, people often will—so be prepared for that, too.

  • When you aren’t sure what to do, the best strategy may be to simply wait.

  • There can be great power and wisdom in doing nothing, because action or resistance might provoke a counter-response.

  • Instead of escalating the action to end a situation, try waiting it out to see if it will end on its own.

  • Sometimes it’s best to treat a situation like a dog on the porch. Put it away for awhile, give it minimal attention, and it’ll eventually either work itself out (ie: behave) or simply wind down (ie: go away).

  • If something isn’t clear one way, try using one or more other channels of communication to reinforce what you want to say.

  • Don’t just say it; find ways to write it and show it, too.

  • Combine a little concern and compassion with clarity to help the clarity go down—just as you might add sugar to medicine or give someone a sugar-coated pill to make it easier to swallow.

  • Don’t just try to make it clear yourself. Try to get the other person to shine some light, as well, to clear the way.


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