Emotional Behavior


  • What type of emotion are you dealing with?
    • Anger?
    • Frustration?
    • Sadness?
  • What is your usual reaction to this type of behavior?
  • How can you defuse the emotion and help the individual?
  • What will happen within the team if you don’t deal with this quickly and effectively?


  • Stay calm and assess the situation.
  • Acknowledge the behavior.
    • e.g. “I see that there are some strong feelings around the issue.”
  • Can the discussion be continued?
    • If not, table it and determine follow-up.
  • Do you need to isolate an individual?
    • e.g. “Can we go discuss this in the conference room?”
  • Equalize or neutralize the discussion.
    • Use neutral ground such as a conference room.
    • If you are in your office do not sit behind the desk.
    • Sit at equal levels with no obstructions (this is an active listening exercise).
    • Do not allow an angry person to obstruct the exit.
    • Do not be completely private; keep the door partially opened.
    • Take copious notes.

Maintain your composure and professionalism but be empathetic and ethical.

Return to the Keys Page to see how to work through other issues with your team or individuals.

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