What do you do when conflict emerges? How do you deal with another person’s anger? Here are several techniques that just may prove helpful:

  • First, make a simple statement like, “I can tell that you’re really upset.” Acknowledging their upset may be all you need to do, at this point.
  • Now, allow the person to vent. Let them get it off their chest. Just listen, giving them your full attention and good eye contact.
  • When the person seems a bit calmer, without agreeing or disagreeing, summarize what you’ve heard.
  • End by asking, “What do you plan to do next?” Listen and, as appropriate, help them think through constructive next steps.

Good leaders want people to feel safe talking with them about anything, including issues that arouse tension. And, people want to know that their concerns will receive an objective, unbiased airing.