That's exactly right! Communication is key here. While he talks, be mindful and avoid distractions. When you respond, paraphrase what he said to make sure you understand what he means.
Okay, but what if he is still angry?
Good question. The best way to diffuse anger is to give empathetic responses. It'll access the underlying emotions Rob is experiencing that are causing the tension.
Can you give me an example?
A great phrase for responding empathetically is "what I am hearing is..." and suggesting what emotions you sense he might be experiencing. It'll diffuse his anger and create a connection.
I think that could work! Thanks so much for your advice, Sandra!
Joe arranged a meeting with Rob the next day. He applied all of Sandra's advice for his approach and communication.
The meeting was successful- Joe diffused Rob's anger, tapped into the underlying issues at hand, and provided empathetic support. Their relationship was strengthened, and the workplace trigger was resolved.