Proven Strategies For Handling Angry Coworkers

Calming Upset or Frustrated Colleagues


Emotional Mastery

Empower yourself with emotional intelligence to navigate difficult conversations with more confidence.

Skilful Communication

Learn to listen and respond with empathy, transforming tension into productive dialogue and mutual respect.

Sustained Improvement

Repeated feedback ensures lasting behavioural changes, fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

Refine your communication skills by learning to harness your emotional intelligence with one of the UK's most acclaimed management training courses.

Why Choose This Training?

More Than Just A Course Of Lectures

What gets in the way of developing and holding on to new communication skills are old habits of thinking and speaking. Even if the advice is very good the reason why it rarely sticks are the mental habits people inevitably revert to, especially under pressure.

Unlearning those old habits and internalising a more effective and lasting approach to communication needs more than a short course of lectures on how to do it.

What Makes This Training Stand Out?

What makes this training stand out is the exceptional support through one-to-one coaching sessions and continuous feedback. Changing behaviour is not an easy task as old habits are hard to break.

With a 40-year track record we can help you cultivate practical skills, and build your confidence to so you can successfully navigate real-world challenges, ensuring lasting behavioural improvements.


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"What I love about this course is that I didn't just learn about the topic, this course is about ME.  I'm confident I can reliably use my new skills, even when under pressure".

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"A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listening with empathy" and "speaking assertively"

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Course Summary

Training Objectives

Dealing with angry coworkers can make every workday a challenge. A fact worth noting is that anger in the workplace often stems from misunderstandings or stress. This training course will guide you through handling such situations smoothly, using emotional intelligence and other proven strategies. You’ll be able to turn tense moments into productive ones.

  • Spotting angry colleagues involves watching for signs like raised voices, avoiding eye contact, and short replies. Understanding why they're upset is key to dealing with the situation well.
  • Use emotional intelligence when handling angry colleagues. Listen without matching their anger, see things from their perspective, thank them for feedback, repeat problems back to ensure understanding, and apologise if needed.
  • Create a plan with clear steps to address the issue. Follow up later to check on improvements and keep having regular one-on-one meetings to catch any early signs of anger.
  • Offer help by suggesting resources like anger management programmes or therapy. Encourage healthy habits such as exercise and enough sleep to help manage stress better.
  • Support colleagues affected by someone else's anger by listening without judgement and encouraging open communication within the team to restore harmony.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

You will learn a set of powerful emotional intelligence communication techniques so that you can manage difficult conversations, handle challenging situations, build relationships and set firm boundaries.

Transferable Skills

The goal of this training is to equip you with the tools you need to build strong, lasting relationships in your professional life, although because these skills are so transferable many clients report vast improvements in their personal relationships as well.

Develop Skills

This is a skills development rather than just a theoretical programme, so the emphasis throughout will be on you taking turn after turn, practising your skills, while receiving feedback and coaching about your effect on others.

Repeated Practice and Feedback

In your coaching sessions you will be helped to practise dealing with the kinds of situation you find challenging, again and again, until you are confident you can do it successfully.

Video Analysis

We'll combine practical, hands-on experience with video replay and analysis and discussion of the principles involved to help you gain both skills and understanding. Special attention is paid to your individual training needs, so you can practise your skills in real-life situations that you have to handle at work.

Sustained Change

That's why as well as your place in a small group, this training includes a generous amount of private and confidential one-to-one coaching sessions online, spread over several months, ensuring an exceptional level of support. This will ensure the changes you make are sustained over a longer period of time and any obstacles are overcome. Choose between online training available worldwide, or in-person face-to-face courses in the UK.

Course Dates and Price

For a list of upcoming course dates (for online coaching and face-to-face training), the locations of the next 3-day public courses in the UK and pricing Click here.

Free Initial Session

This initial coaching session serves as an introduction to the "Skills with People" course, allowing you to understand the course's relevance and effectiveness for your specific needs before committing to it.

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People who feel understood are more receptive

Understanding and Identifying Angry Coworkers

Knowing when someone at work is angry can be tricky. It's all about spotting the subtle hints they drop and figuring out why they might feel that way.

Reasons for Employee Anger

Employees might feel angry for many reasons. A big one is feeling overlooked or not valued by their bosses. They work hard but don't get the thanks they deserve. This makes them feel frustrated and unimportant.

Too much work with little break time adds to the stress, leading to anger issues.

Another reason could be personal problems spilling into work life. Things like family issues or financial worries don't stay at home; they follow employees to work, affecting their mood and performance.

Poor communication in the office also plays a part. Not knowing what's going on, or feeling left out of important decisions can make employees feel angry and disconnected from the team.

Next up, let's look at how you can spot an angry coworker..

Signs of an Angry Coworker

Understanding why coworkers get angry is key. Now, let's look at how to spot when they're mad.

  1. They raise their voice. It's a clear sign if someone talks louder than usual.
  2. Their face might go red or they frown a lot. This shows they're not calm.
  3. Avoiding eye contact can mean they're trying to hide their anger.
  4. They might slam doors or hit desks. It shows frustration.
  5. Snappy answers or short replies often mean someone is irritated.
  6. If they are pacing up and down, it suggests they're struggling to control their anger.
  7. Ignoring questions or requests can be a way of showing displeasure.
  8. Sighing heavily or rolling their eyes indicates annoyance too.
  9. Giving the silent treatment? It's another form of expressing anger without words.
  10. Lastly, if their work starts slipping, stress and anger could be the cause.

Recognising these signs helps in dealing with the situation before it gets worse.

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People can't help arguing when they feel misunderstood

Proven Strategies for Handling Angry Coworkers Using Emotional Intelligence

Dealing with angry coworkers? Emotional intelligence is your best tool. It helps you navigate through tough emotions, guiding both of you towards a more peaceful work environment.

Acknowledge Feelings, Discourage Bad Behaviour

Listen with empathy and agree that feeling upset is okay, but acting out isn't. This way, you make clear it's their behaviour - not them - that's the issue. Tell them you understand why they're angry.

Yet, confirm that shouting or being rude won't solve anything. It helps control anger and moves the focus back to fixing the problem.

Don't Match Their Escalation (But Let Them Vent)

After acknowledging their feelings with some empathy, and discouraging bad behaviour with some assertiveness, the next step is not to match their level of anger. Stay calm even if they are not. This shows you're in control and helps keep things from getting worse.

Let them vent without interrupting. It might be what they need to start cooling down.

Hearing them out doesn't mean you agree with everything they say. But it's important for managing anger effectively. They'll likely feel calmer once they've let off steam, making it easier to talk through the problem together.

So, breathe deeply and give them space to express themselves but stay alert for signs of uncontrolled anger that could lead to threatening behaviour or worse.

Try to See Things From Their Perspective

Seeing things from their perspective can shift the game. It's about stepping into their shoes - imagine what they're feeling. Angry feelings could be due to many reasons, maybe it's a tight deadline or personal stress at home.

By understanding where their anger comes from, you pave the way for empathy. This approach not only calms tensions but also helps in identifying triggers that might have escalated the situation.

Next highlight the importance of acknowledging how they feel and discouraging negative behaviour.

Thank the Team Member for Their Feedback

Always thank your team member for sharing their feelings. It shows you value their opinion and are open to making things better. Acknowledging their effort can make them feel respected and part of the solution.

This simple act might reduce stress and negative feelings, helping to create a healthier work environment.

Saying "thank you" may also encourage more open communication in the future. It's an effective way to start fixing any issue together, leading towards positive change. Plus, it supports building stronger personal relationships within the team, critical for overall harmony and success.

Repeat Their Problem Back to Them (Ensure Good Communication)

Repeating their problem back to them is key. It shows you're listening and understand what they're upset about. This method helps in controlling anger by making sure there's no misunderstanding.

You say what they expressed in your own words. It's a bit like playing back a recording but with your own voice and understanding.

This approach can calm the situation, as it makes the coworker feel heard and valued. Once they know you get their point, it opens up space for finding solutions together. Now, moving on, it might also be good to apologise if needed..

Apologise to the Coworker (If Necessary)

Saying sorry can calm things down if you've upset a coworker. It shows you care about their feelings and helps fix the problem. Keep your apology sincere – don't just say it to move past the issue.

Sometimes, saying sorry is part of understanding anger and moving towards healthier interactions. This can prevent problems from getting bigger and maintains peace at work. An honest apology might also open up a chat on how to make things better for everyone involved.

Create Actionable Steps for Change

Talk about what can be different moving forward. Sit down with your coworker and make a clear plan. This includes setting specific goals that address the problem. It's like when you decide to take deep breaths instead of yelling during a traffic jam – a small but powerful change.

Ensure these steps are realistic and everyone agrees on them. Think about how progress will be checked, too.

Use timelines to keep things on track. Maybe agree to meet in two weeks to talk about any improvements or new issues. It’s similar to checking your progress after starting regular walks for better physical health—just now, it's for improving work relationships.

Make sure this plan isn’t just talk; write it down so everyone knows what’s expected and can see the commitment to doing better together.

Follow Up with the Coworker at a Later Date

Check in with your coworker after some time. It shows you care and are serious about making things better. Pick a calm moment to ask how they're feeling now. Use this chance to talk about any changes or improvements.

See if the actions you both agreed on are helping.

Offer your support again during this chat. Encourage them to share their thoughts on what's working and what's not. This is key for ongoing improvement, keeping anger in check, and building a positive work environment together.

Keep it open - invite them for regular updates moving forward.

Hold Regular 1-on-1 Review Meetings with Team Members

Meeting team members one-on-one regularly is key. It gives you a chance to understand their feelings and spot any signs of building anger early. During these chats, focus on listening.

This way, you show respect for their perspectives and emotions. Such meetings can prevent anger from escalating.

These sessions also offer an opportunity to set clear goals for managing emotions in the workplace. By discussing progress and challenges, you help them find healthy ways to express feelings.

Actions speak louder than words; consistent follow-ups demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and mental health.

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Supporting Affected Colleagues

Helping colleagues affected by anger is vital. Show them you understand. Listen well and without judgment. Offer a shoulder but do not take sides. This keeps the office atmosphere calm and supports mental health.

Encourage them to use relaxation techniques or seek professional help if needed. Activities like deep breathing, brisk walks, or engaging in quiet time can lower stress levels. It's about being there for each other, improving daily life at work.

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He's now far more aware of his impact on others

Restoring Team Harmony

To fix team harmony, start with setting clear rules for everyone. This means making sure all members understand what's expected in terms of behaviour and attitude. Encourage open talks where people can share feelings safely.

It's like opening the windows to let fresh air in; it clears out tension and bad vibes.

Next, organise team-building activities. These don't have to be big events – even small, regular activities that get everyone involved can work wonders. They help build trust and reduce anger by letting teammates see each other in a different light, away from work stress.

Celebrate successes together too – this reminds everyone they’re on the same side, aiming for common goals.

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She now feels more confident in tackling people

Dealing with Difficult Colleagues

Dealing with difficult colleagues requires patience and strategy. First, try to identify triggers that set off their anger or frustration. Understanding what sparks these emotions can help in managing situations more effectively.

Use emotional intelligence to stay calm and composed. This means not responding with the same level of intensity but rather keeping your cool, showing empathy, and maintaining a respectful tone.

Create a plan for action if things escalate. This might involve talking to a manager or finding mediation support within the workplace. Encourage open communication by expressing how their behaviour affects you and the team's harmony without placing blame.

Offer solutions together—maybe it’s about redistributing workload, setting clear boundaries, or seeking help from a professional organisation for anger management programmes. Remember, restoring peace is beneficial for everyone involved including improving overall mental health and reducing extra tension in the workspace.

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Are you helping them think for themselves?

Effective Communication Techniques for Handling Anger

Keeping your cool is key when facing an angry colleague. Listen first, talk less. This shows you care about what they're feeling. Use their name too; it makes the conversation more personal and calming.

Avoid saying things that might spark more anger, like sarcasm or dismissing their feelings. It's all about creating a safe space where both of you can speak openly without fear of being judged.

Next, try to see the situation from their perspective without losing sight of your own stance. Ask questions that show you want to understand their point better rather than argue. If an apology from your side could help calm things down, don’t hold back – say sorry sincerely.

However, remember it’s not just about finding a quick fix but rather working together towards a lasting solution that addresses the root cause of the anger.

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Now by involving people he takes them with him

Utilising Resources and Support for Coworkers with Anger Issues

Offering help to coworkers facing anger issues involves guiding them towards reliable resources. Think about suggesting a typical anger management programme or connecting them with professionals skilled in how to guide them through a safer althernative (such as this training course).

These experts can teach useful skills, like progressive muscle relaxation and breathing exercises--all designed to keep uncontrolled anger at bay.

Encourage physical activity too, as it's great for releasing pent-up energy. Plus, getting enough sleep plays a critical role in handling stress better. Sharing tips on spotting physical warning signs of escalating anger can make a big difference as well.

And remember, support from family members and friends is just as important. So, advising them to talk things out with loved ones helps round off the circle of support they need.

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Stand up for your ideas and also respect theirs

Handling Post-Firing Guilt

Letting someone go is tough. It's more than just losing a team member; it often brings guilt and second thoughts. You might feel responsible for their future or worry about the impact on your team's harmony.

To deal with these feelings, remember that decisions like these aren't made lightly. They come after much thought and often, as a last resort when anger management issues persist despite support offered.

Accept that feeling guilty is normal but also know you've aimed to handle the situation as best as you could for everyone's well-being.

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Learn how to tune in to others and enable them to tune in to you

Proven Strategies For Handling Angry Coworkers - Conclusion

Handling angry coworkers can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. With a bit of emotional intelligence and the right strategies, you can turn tense situations around. Remember to listen, show empathy, and work together towards a solution.

It's about finding common ground and moving forward as a team. These proven methods not only help in calming storms at work but also in building stronger, more understanding teams.

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Learn how to be soft on the person yet tough on the issue

Proven Strategies For Handling Angry Coworkers FAQs

1. What should I do if my coworker gets really angry?

First, stay calm... It's key! Try to understand their point of view and express your feelings without sarcasm or anger. This can prevent a small issue from becoming bigger.

2. Can being angry all the time affect someone's health?

Yes, indeed. Uncontrolled anger can lead to high blood pressure and even heart disease among other health problems. It’s serious stuff.

3. Why do some people get angrier than others at work?

Well, lots of reasons... Things like stress, personal issues, or even not having enough sleep can make someone more likely to lose their temper or feel frustrated easily.

4. Is there a healthy way to deal with anger?

Absolutely! Expressing your anger in a controlled manner is much better than keeping it all inside or letting it out in harmful ways. Taking deep breaths, thinking positive thoughts, or even going for a walk can help.

5. How does pent-up energy relate to getting angry?

Pent-up energy – when you’re feeling restless or have too much energy – might make you more likely to throw things or shout when you're upset. Using that energy in a good way, like exercise, could really help!

6. Are there courses on how to control anger?

Yes! There are private courses that teach strategies for managing anger before it takes over... These might include ways to relax and look at situations from different perspectives.

7. How can I manage uncontrolled anger leads in the workplace to maintain a healthy emotion?

When dealing with uncontrolled anger leads in the workplace, it's vital to approach the situation with strategies that promote a healthy emotion among coworkers. First, recognise the mental health problems that can underlie anger problems, including stress or substance abuse. Offering a listening ear and understanding can sometimes diffuse anger escalating situations. Encourage the individual to express their anger in a controlled manner, avoiding negative impacts such as domestic violence or threatening behaviour. Control your anger and maintain professionalism; this demonstrates how to handle frustrating situations constructively. If the anger issues persist, suggest professional help to address these emotional states, potentially stemming from events affecting their personal life. Additionally, adopting relaxation techniques like deep breathing can help in managing immediate reactions to anger triggers.

8. What are effective relaxation techniques for controlling anger in the office, especially when dealing with stressful events?

Effective relaxation techniques for controlling anger include deep breathing exercises, which can help in regaining calmness during stressful events. Encourage coworkers experiencing anger problems to take a brisk walk or seek a quiet time for a few minutes to clear their minds. This physical activity not only reduces pent-up energy but also promotes a different perspective on the issue at hand. Practicing mindfulness, such as visualising a relaxing scene or focusing on positive, not negative thoughts, can aid in preventing anger from escalating. For those who find it challenging to express their anger healthily, professional organisations offer anger management programs. These strategies not only help in avoiding sarcasm and negative thoughts but also foster a more positive emotional state in the workplace.

9. How can understanding and expressing anger healthily benefit personal and professional relationships?

Understanding and expressing anger in a healthy way are crucial for maintaining positive personal and professional relationships. Acknowledging when anger problems are a result of external events affecting one's mood and finding constructive outlets for that emotion can lead to more effective communication and less frustration in relationships. Techniques such as taking deep breaths to manage immediate feelings of anger, seeking fresh air to gain a different perspective, or engaging in physical activities like a brisk walk can prevent anger before it controls you, reducing the likelihood of substance abuse or the negative impact of domestic violence. Encourage open dialogue about mental health problems and the importance of seeking professional help if experiencing uncontrolled anger leads. This openness helps in creating an environment where expressing your anger in a constructive manner is normalised, fostering a healthier emotional state and reducing extra tension in both personal and professional settings.

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