How to Lead Upset or Angry People {Video}

2015 is upon us and most of the leaders I know are full speed ahead, not missing a beat as they careen through the first month of the year. The wonder of the new year, with the promise of new beginnings and behaviors has been forgotten and the people conflicts and business challenges remain.

So what’s a leader to do? This month’s vlog suggests 3 ways to manage difficult interactions with associates, when emotions run hot and mistakes have been made. While the suggestions focus on what to do in the moment of passionate disagreement and angry emotions, here, in this note, I offer up some additional ideas to ponder.

What if you had no one disagreeing or upset with you about actions you took or statements you made? How would it feel to have less feedback and rarely know where you stood with your colleagues and business associates?

Recently I was coaching with a senior level executive who was feeling that due to her senior role in the firm, she could not generate an atmosphere of authentic and honest dialogue. She noticed that as long as she was in the room, the room was silent. And the silence was killing her, as well as threatening the health of her company. I confirmed that her pattern has been well documented by senior level C-suite executives across industries and professions.

We crafted a plan that included asking more questions, being more clear about her desire for feedback and dialog, listening with curiosity and a desire to learn vs. a desire to teach and tell, and publicly thanking her associates for speaking up and out about issues important to them.

What struck me was her wish to regain the joy she used to feel with her work and with her colleagues.  She stated: “What I really want is to feel like I am part of the team, not apart from it.”

So, how can you re-connect to authentic feedback from your team members? What information do you need to grow yourself and your business? What can you learn about yourself from your challenging conflicts and dialogs? What is stopping the on-going exchange of feedback and discussion with your associates?

Make time the rest of the month to tell your team you want their input and feedback. Thank them when they give it and then smile, pause, and ask for more! It will change your conversations!

Best to you all,

What has been your experience with leading upset or angry people?  

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