How to Deal With Aggressive People at Work—These 5 Simple Ways

Jun 2, 2021 2 min read
How to Deal With Aggressive People at Work—These 5 Simple Ways

Sometimes people react to difficult situations by being aggressive. So, how do you deal with aggression? What’s the best approach? Stick with me, and I’ll show you how to deal with aggressive people at work.

Aggression in the workplace can be verbal or physical, such as shouting or banging the desk. People tend toward aggression when they get into conflict and want to defend their interests at the expense of others.

How to Deal With Aggressive People

The tree that bends in the wind survives the storm. The tree that stands firm and opposes the storm lays broken after. – Unknown

Aggressive behaviour is destructive and needs to be handled directly and calmly. This requires assertiveness and a balanced, emotionally intelligent approach to handling conflict.

Here is a short list of simple tips for handling aggressive people at work.

Time to cool down

Aggressive behaviour can be frightening. It’s also a good sign that the person you’re dealing with has lost self-control.

Therefore, give them time to cool down. Choose another time to talk when there is less going on.

Alternatively, change the location. Move into a meeting room or corridor.

Point them out

Point them out. Tell them directly and calmly that there’s no need to get angry.

This simple statement is often enough for people to reflect on their behaviour and calm down.

Recognize their feelings and show that you care: “I understand you’re angry. Now let’s work out what we’re going to do.”

Don’t fight

Do not fight fire with fire. Never engage aggressive behaviour with more of the same, since this will only act to trigger more aggression.

Instead, stay calm and let the noise pass over you. When you have to speak, do so calmly. In this way, you are in control.

Your aim should always be a win-win situation.

Acknowledge what’s important

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