Reduce Conflict: 5 Places to Hear the Urgency Before the Yell
As The People Skills Coach™, I often teach others how to deal with people’s anger in the workplace and reduce conflict. Does your boss yell? Has a team member suddenly become edgy with you? Has a customer surprised you with a yell?
If you don’t like to be yelled at, develop one of the most valuable people skills to reduce conflict:
Hear the urgency before the yell!
Often when the boss, a teammate, or a customer yells, you have missed the urgency they were communicating before the yell. It’s not your fault and this is not about blame. Yet hearing the urgency before the yell can give you what you want — less conflict!
In the face of urgency and a listener who doesn’t hear it, someone may resort to a yell. I am not speaking about people who yell all the time. I am referring to people who suddenly start to yell.
Reduce Conflict: 5 Places to Hear Urgency Before the Yell!
- Hear urgency in repetition. When they calmly say the same thing twice, hear their urgency and acknowledge it — before the yell. If you remain silent because you are pondering what they said, the next thing you hear may be a yell. To them silence means you don’t care. Tell them you are thinking not ignoring them.
- Hear urgency in their lack of knowledge. Your expertise blinds you to their urgency. As they speak, your knowledge is calmly telling you that you can handle it. Speak up. Nicely reassure them that you can handle it. Communicate solutions sooner to reduce conflict and prevent the yell.
- Hear urgency in the painful past or impending future. Many times people’s urgency comes from previous negative experiences that caused them pain or something they are anticipating. Ask great questions while people are calm to uncover their concerns — before the yell. When you uncover the fear, you find the urgency and reduce conflict.
- Hear urgency in the need to be acknowledged. Urgency is not always a deadline for action. Often people’s urgency resides in their need to be heard. Tell them that you hear what they are saying. Paraphrase (not parrot) what they have said. Acknowledging people can prevent the yell and reduce conflict.
- Hear urgency in the bigger picture. Example: I was teaching a public class. The banquet room was to be setup by 7:30am so I could prepare before greeting the students. I walked in to see a room configured incorrectly and no flip charts.
I calmly spoke with the hotel rep about re-configuring room and the time frame needed. Ten minutes later there was still no change. I then said, “Fix this now!”. He replied, “that’s good, you woke me up” and quickly fixed the problem. To him, my calm voice at the beginning meant it wasn’t urgent. Had he looked at the bigger picture of my need to prepare before people arrived, he would have heard the urgency in the calm — before the yell.
Bonus Tip: The more you know about people, the easier it is to reduce conflict and prevent the yell. Learn what annoys them (pet peeves), their personality types, their fears and goals, their frustrations, and how best to respond before the yell.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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Reduce Conflict: Listen While You Speak
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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