How to Prevent Emotional Escalation
Handling conflict in the workplace can be difficult, especially when a person brings his or her emotions into a discussion. The following tips will help you approach interactions with emotional colleages in a professional, effective manner.
The best protection against an emotional outburst by another person is to manage one's own behavior and emotions. Not doing so pulls one into emotional exchanges and gives emotional power to the other person. If the conversation begins to get heated, one should:
- Speak in a low tone.
- Check one's own emotions.
- Be aware of the other person's body language and voice intonations.
- Be watchful of one's own nonverbal expressions and body language.
- Place both chairs in comparable positions.
- Avoid any position of dominance.
- Check the tone of voice.
- Look the other person in the eyes.
- End the conversation if it gets uncomfortable.
- Discontinue the conversation if there is a feeling of intimidation or fear.
- Discontinue the conversation if there is emotional distress.
- Avoid histrionics (dramatic displays).
In a conversation with a difficult person, the goal is to guide the other person to understand a different perspective. Verbal strikes at the other person can repel rather than attract. Unchecked emotions lead to words that are:
- Otherwise destructive.