In the Work Place How to Deal with Emotionally Charged Situations

Written by Christine Pemberton, marketing and sales director for Skin 2 SkinTM Care

In the work place, each individual has their own objectives, opinions, skill-sets, roles, responsibilities and deadlines to deal with. These factors coupled with outside influences and pressures, can manifest into emotionally charged situations. Many of these situations usually stem from miscommunication, differences in objectives and opinions, as well as perceived importance. Two key words can most often diffuse the situation: respect and acceptance. It is essential to keep in mind that thoughts and feelings are equally important. Having respect for each individual’s opinions or ideas allows for an open communication climate and acceptance of each other’s perspectives.

Emotionally charged situations should be discussed and resolved privately, away from other employees and especially customers!

In order to properly address an emotionally charged situation, I refer to a book which has been recommended to me time, and time again. The book, entitled The Four Agreements, is based on the fundamental principles important for harmonious living with respect and acceptance.

The agreements discussed include:

  1. Always do your best. Knowing best can change based on circumstance and physical state.
  2. Never make assumptions.
  3. Be impeccable with your word.
  4. Do not take anything personally.

The three keys to diffuse an emotionally charged situation is to first listen to each person separately, without comments or commitment. Second, ask questions and acknowledge the other person’s position by simply saying, “I hear you and understand your position.” It is important to acknowledge, respect and understand the stresses on both sides. Take the few minutes before to re-group and then communicate your thoughts and final decision on the matter. With these four harmonious principles as the foundation, there will always be room for open communication and respect. When positions are acknowledged and understood after they have been communicated in an acceptable way, everyone can amiably
move forward.

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