Dealing with aggressive behaviour at work

Anger ExpressionThis is the first post of its kind, just to give an insight about how coaching can help one’s thinking toward a positive outcome.  As I am just sharing part of the conversation I am maintaining the high confidentiality that is always paramount in the coach-client relationship.

During a workshop I recently run one of the delegates asked me if I would suggest ideas about how to deal with aggressive behaviour. After clarifying that as a coach I refrain from offering suggestions and I offered to show her how I could coach her to her own outcome.  The conversation went about this way:

Massimo: can you describe what do you mean by aggressive behaviour?

Client: I always leave my door open as a personal policy and colleagues feel free to enter without being invited and start yelling at me for whatever reason.

M: does this happen when you are expecting them?

C: no just randomly…

M: and you are just dealing with what they ask on the spot?

C: I have no choice, they are there and yelling… and…

M: it sounds this is affecting profoundly… what is your first feeling about that?

C: I feel powerless…

M: have you thought about alternative behaviours?

C: asking them to calm down never worked when I tried: perhaps arranging an appointment… but I usually get very upset and it ruins the rest of my day…

M: is this slowing down your performance?

C: sometime I waste considerable amount of time just rethinking about the whole situation…

M: can you qualify considerable?

C: many minutes, hours some times…

M: so how would you feel if you could deal with this differently?

C: it would make me feel great and invigorated!

M: ok, please let me ask another question: do you feel physically threatened when this happens?

C: … what do you mean?

M: do you think at any time that one of your colleagues might physically attack you or hurting you?

C: no, absolutely never.

M: great, so if there is no physical threat is their loud voice a threat for you?

C: well… I guess it’s just noise then…

M: so how are you going to deal with the next yeller?

C: well, I will be better prepared and just have a different perspective about the whole behaviour

M: great, well done! And thank you for your honesty in discussing this issue

The whole conversation lasted less than 2 minutes and, at the end of it, her expression was glowing.

She Emailed a few days after thanking me again for the little demonstration and explaining how I managed to change her thinking around aggressive behaviour.  She also mentioned that it helped her to face successfully a couple of incidents that would have ruined her day just a before our session.

We recently experienced a high number of inquiries about how to deal with aggressive behaviour. To help people like you we are running a special telecall, in collaboration with East Anglia Hypnotherapy. If you are affected by aggressive behaviour at home or at work and would like to have some help please
follow this link and book yourself in.

Posted under Coaching in Action

This post was written by massimo on 23 July 2009

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