Question: What’s the best way to deal with a tense business situation without losing your cool?
Know That It’s Not Personal
“More often than not, when someone gets angry, it’s because they’ve taken something personally – how dare they not understand what you’re trying to say, right? Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re talking to. Consider how they feel about the situation. You might feel like they’re attacking you, but to them, you could well be the one in the wrong.”
“Whenever I feel a tense business situation, I first look at my own actions and behaviour. I can only affect what I do and say, so I remind myself of my values and devise a response accordingly. The relationship or deal may go south, but if I ground my mindset in caring and servicing the other person, I find it is much easier to accept any kind of outcome.”
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Clear Your Mind
“Things are going to happen no matter what. It’s how you respond to these situations that sometimes make or break the outcome. So, take some time for yourself by ensuring you are fed, hydrated, and perhaps gone out for some fresh air to clear your mind and decompress. This way, you are as prepared as you can be to make decisions carefully with the end goal in mind.”
Take a Few Seconds to Respond
“Give yourself time to think through your responses before saying something you may regret later. If it’s turned into a contest of wit and banter, you may need to slow things down before it gets ugly. Taking a few extra seconds to answer a question can help ease anxiety and help you regain control of the conversation by changing the pace to something you are more comfortable with.”
Pick Up the Phone
“It’s easy for written communications like email and text to be misinterpreted. Oftentimes, the situation isn’t as bad as we think. Simply picking up the phone and initiating a transparent, authentic conversation can diffuse the tension.”
This post first appeared on the Business Collective – an initiative of Young Entrepreneur Council, which is a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.