In fielding highly charged emotional statements, your first goal is understanding and clarification. Your second is conveying that you care.
Find underlying reasons for the following statements and then address them in a way that reaches beyond facts, to feelings: “I’m tired of the politics around here.” “My last review was a joke.” “Another reorganization—probably just another name for layoffs.”
Examples of “feeling feedback” would be: “How are the politics here affecting you?” “What’s bothering you about your last review?” “What do you think about the reorganization?” “How do you feel that will affect you?” And “How would you handle what needs to be done?”
— Adapted from The New Art of Managing People, Phil Hunsaker and Tony Alessandra, Free Press.