Let’s face it, sometimes people wig out.
It could be your teenager, your spouse, or possibly a team member you’re supervising. They can’t handle the no or the not so good news you had to spring on them. They have an emotional meltdown, ranting and spewing all the negatives of the situation.
While teaching a stress management workshop recently, one of the members came up with a brilliant strategy to handle people’s negativity and I think it will work with just about anyone.
1. Validate the person’s feelings
Go ahead and give them permission to feel angry, disgruntled, emotional or negative. If you argue with them about their feelings, you only make the feelings hotter.
2. Give a time limit to expressing negativity
Set a 15 minute time frame for spewing all their negative hostility. After 15 minutes, time for negativity is up. Set that clear boundary.
3. Give the positive behavior you want now
Whatever behavior or situation they’re angry about, give clear direction on what you expect. Share the positive behavior you want and then model it.