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Emotional rescue: How to help angry employees vent

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by on
in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,People Management

angry employeeSay one of your employees walks into your office all red-faced and angry. He starts dropping verbal bombs and loudly complaining about a co-worker’s lazy work habits.

How should a manager respond? Start giving advice? Remain silent? Ask about the person’s feelings? Request that the person leave, calm down and return later?

All of the above are typically the wrong responses—and for different reasons.

Use the following do’s and don’ts to help em­­ployees vent about stressful work problems and think about solutions:  

The do’s  

  √  Do allow the employee to talk. Avoid arguing with the em­­ployee, becoming defensive or taking the rant personally. Let the person speak his or her piece. Don’t interrupt or try to silence the employee.  

  √  Do acknowledge the problem. Even if you think employees are overreacting, it’s important to validate their perception. Show empathy and concern by saying, “I understand why you’re upset.”  

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