Eight Steps for Managing Emotion in Others

Emotions run high, tension is up and everyone around is losing their cool.

What to do? The easy and short term choice is to join in and have a hissy fit as well.
The not so easy choice with an eye on the long term relationship is to begin to manage the emotions of the people you are dealing with.

This article is taken from our “Dealing with Dificult People” workshop & walks you through the steps to take to begin to manage other people’s emotions when you get caught in a Difficult Situation.

1. Stay calm

  • Plan for the interaction if you can
  • Be confident and in control in the face of strong emotion – It’s not about you!

  • Stay firm

2. Let them express the emotion

  • Usually they just want to be heard
  • Listen actively
  • Encourage them to talk it through
  • Don’t jump in and try to “fix” it for them. Let them talk

3. Show empathy (not sympathy)

  • Let them know you will support and assist them – not that you feel sorry for them
  • Don’t say you understand- if you have not experienced what they are going through – YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
  • Support them with empathy sentences like “That’s got to be tough.”

4. State your assumption about the emotion you observe

  • “I can see this has really cheesed you off”
  • “If that was me I would be pretty upset by that”

5. Ask what their next steps are

  • Put them in problem solving mode
  • What would you like to have happen? What needs to happen to assist you?

6. Give suggestions if appropriate

  • Only do this if you see it is appropriate or necessary
  • Make sure you have permission to give the suggestion
  • Offer them as suggestions only, not as a solution
  • Speak from your experience only if you have it; “Just as a suggestion, in a situation like this I find that…

7. Ask what you can do to assist them

  • Don’t ask if you can help but what you can do to help
  • “What assistance do you need from me?”

8. Set a check in time where appropriate

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