Every now and then, a pissed off coworker will cross your path. There’s a simple, five word phrase, that can calm them.
“How can I help you?”
You can use this phrase to calm anyone, except the psychopath with a machete trying to kill you. If you meet one of those, run and call the police, but run first.
“In any communication, with another human being, and you get a response from someone, that response is either a loving response, or a cry for help.” – Tony Robbins.
The phrase, “How can I help,” answers a cry for help with a loving response.
When you ask to help, you’re letting the person know they’re heard, you have their attention, and you want to ease their pain. Coworkers develop better relationships, as coworkers, by helping one another.
- A cry for help can be something as simple as a worry or suggestion.
- A cry for help can also be a rage induced tantrum.
Both are the same thing, and can be met with the same question.
When someone is pissed off, they’re either angry, upset, or frustrated, on a high level. That means what they’re pissed off about is something important to them. Usually they’re afraid of something.
When someone is upset, it’s because something didn’t meet their expectations.
- You can help them to understand why their expectations weren’t met.
- You can help them find a path to their expectations.
When someone is angry, it’s because they feel they’ve been unfairly treated.
- You can help them learn why they were treated that way.
- If they were treated unfairly, perhaps you can help by supporting their position.
- You can help be a mediator.
When someone is frustrated, they’re struggling to find an answer.
- You can help them find an answer.
- You can guide them so they learn a better way to find an answer.
Of course, some pissed off coworkers outright refuse help, no matter how upset they are. In those situations, the question you should ask yourself then: