I have been yelled at a lot lately. I am working on some very difficult projects and emotions are running high.

I work in the world of conflict – what should I expect!

There are lots of loud voices. They yell and demand and accuse. They send threatening emails. They demand to be heard. Their opinion is so important.

They tend to have black and white thinking. It’s all or nothing. My way or the highway.

They can be very intimidating. It works. People do what they are told to do. They are scared of the loud voice in the room.

Sometimes, in the moment, I get intimidated too. I get scared. I doubt my own thinking and decide it’s easier to agree; not rock the boat. Just get me out of this situation. I am not feeling comfortable at all.

Then I breathe. Go for a walk. Talk to someone not attached to this issue. Recognise that I have just been triggered. That it is ok. I am ok.

I remember that this person is reacting to their own strong emotions. They are reacting to what they consider is an injustice.   They are yelling because this issue is important to them.

So then I think about what questions I can ask them so that they recognise that their response is them protecting themselves or another person.

How can I help them recognise that this emotion is not a fact; it’s just a feeling.

People who are yelling and abusive have been triggered by something that they see is very unfair.

Help them to see what is triggering them by asking great questions. Eg… you seem to be very concerned about what is happening to Bob at the moment. Tell me more about why Bob is so important to you.

Start a conversation.

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