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The Easy Step by Step Guide to Being Positive and Staying Positive 0953985660

The Easy Step by Step Guide to Being Positive and Staying Positive 0953985660

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Published by Bogo Adi

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Published by: Bogo Adi on Jun 07, 2011
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05/24/2012

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Aggressive people can come at us out of the blue when
we are least prepared for them. The attack can cause
us to go into fight or flight mode i.e. to become ag-
gressive or submissive. Ideally, however, we are seek-
ing an assertive response to this attack that leaves us
feeling neither cross or upset. The following way of
dealing with aggression may help you. It is sometimes
called the consequence method and it takes you
through responses for handling escalating aggression.

Guidelines for handling aggression from
others

Step 1

Take a breath and get a sound inner voice before you
reply.

You will have time to do this as the angry person will
be letting off a head of steam. Do not try to interrupt
them when they are doing this, or try to reason with
them, or you will only fuel their anger. You can never
reason with people until they have worked their an-
ger through. So while they are letting rip at you, take
your breath and get your positive inner dialogue go-
ing. For example: ‘I can handle this’, ‘I can deal with
this’, ‘I can keep calm’. Tell yourself that this attack is
not personal and that something has happened to
cause this person to behave like this and you happen
to be the one they are taking it out on.

Step 2

Once they have calmed down you can then ask for
clarification/information. Keep your tone of voice as-
sertive and your eye contact going. Keep your body

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Being Positive and Staying Positive

114

posture upright. Ask open questions to get to the
route cause of the problem: why, what, when, how,
where, who.

Step 3

Hopefully by now the person will have calmed down
but what if they haven’t? If the aggression is main-
tained then state where you stand but show you are
interested in their opinion.

‘I don’t believe we have ignored your requests, Mr
Jones, but I’d like to hear why you think we have.’

Step 4

If the aggression is still maintained then step up your
assertiveness. Increase the emphasis on your position.

‘I believe we behaved appropriately.’

Step 5

If the aggression continues you can use the conse-
quence. ‘If you continue to shout in this way Mr Jones,
I will put the phone down and ring you back later.’

Step 6

If all your efforts have failed either cut off the inter-
action – you have warned them above – or put aside
the issue you are discussing or arguing about. ‘Look –
over the past three months we’ve spent lot of time
arguing about this. Can we forget the procedure for
the moment and talk about why we have these long
arguments?’

I have only had to resort to this once in my career to
date and that was when I was working in a busy job
centre in the middle of a city. A man started shouting
at me and being abusive. I warned him of the conse-
quences of continuing to behave in that way and told
him I would refuse to deal with him if he continued
shouting and swearing. He continued ranting and

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Managing aggression and conflict

115

raving so I walked away from him. I had a great boss
who backed me up and he told the man that until he
could behave no one would deal with him.

You can’t get on with everyone in life so if you have
difficult people then avoid them if you possibly can.
Why make your life more miserable? There are plenty
of nice positive people out there. Give your difficult
person a break and give yourself a break.

In summary

conflict at home, in your personal life and at work
can arise for all sorts of reasons

to handle conflict first understand what causes it

if a certain person causes you conflict then avoid
him or her if you can

if you get upset, try to remove yourself from the
environment

rehearse your four part statement if appropriate
and/or get a healthy inner voice, refresh yourself
on your positive points and tell yourself you can
deal with it

calm yourself down before going back or resolv-
ing conflict

reward yourself every time you deal with a
potentially awkward situation in a positive man-
ner even if it is a pat on the back

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aggressive situations hit us out of the blue when
we are least prepared for them

the attack can cause us to go into fight or flight
mode

seek first to understand then to be understood

think win–win versus win–lose

Being Positive and Staying Positive

116

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