How to Handle Hot Headed Attendees in Meetings

Among the toughest encounters in a meeting, demanding and hot headed attendees can be really draining. As the facilitator, you will require ample patience and the deepest understanding to efficiently deal with this challenge – different people have different personalities and not everyone can be handled easily.

Here are some tips on effectively responding to the situation:

Listen to what they have to say
Sometimes, the issue at hand is not the actual problem for them. In this scenario, it’s all about how you handle things. Once they’ve raised their point, try to respond to their needs as calmly as possible to get their cooperation.

Find another way to look at the hot headed person
If an attendee expresses his anger and you fail to respond, they’ll eventually feel that you’re actually neglecting what they’ve said. Be emphatic and always put yourself in their shoes – think about how you would react if you were caught in a similar situation.

Tense Meeting© deagreez / Adobe Stock

Arguing might just be your worst option
Instead of making excuses or defending your actions, ask them what you can actually do to resolve the situation and set things right. Some people tend to become even angrier when they receive a defensive response.

Don’t go below the belt
Always remember that you should never attack a tempered person’s character – as it might just escalate the situation. Also, do not try to insult their performance, for they will be more likely to lash out. Being critical or too direct in the middle of a heated exchange is not the best way to handle the situation.

Think outside of the box
Suggesting alternatives can be a great way to compromise. Your colleagues might even view this approach as a sign of respect and they will likely get the impression that you are actively listening and trying to address their concerns.

Take all the relevant details down
Try writing down all the points that caused the misunderstanding. Analyse the whole situation objectively and you might just realise that it isn’t really as complicated as at first it seemed.

Ask a trustworthy colleague for help
Look for someone trustworthy enough to help process the situation. This person may contribute their own perspective that could fill in the missing pieces of information. Just make sure that they don’t side with anybody – as this might activate more heat and add even more fuel to the fire.

If all else fails, just be kind
No matter how tense the situation becomes, always choose kindness over anger. Who knows, that person might just be having a bad day and that might be affecting their mood. Apologise even if you know it’s not your fault; this might just diffuse the other person’s rage.

Above all the anger, always remember to never take it personally. Being hot headed, too, won’t solve the problem. Take a deep breath and be the most understanding person you can be!

With a serene environment that will help to keep things calm, our training rooms in London are the place to be! Phone &Meetings on 0800 073 0499 to ensure that all your meetings are a stress-free!

Posted by Sara Cano

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