There are instances when meetings get heated. Your employees decide to express negative feelings towards a new policy. It might also be a result of opposing ideas from different factions. If you get caught in the middle of a heated discussion, these tips will help you.
Let everyone calm down
Once you feel the tension during the conversation, you have to remind everyone to calm down and take a deep breath. It’s easy to get caught up with the conversation, and it hurts everyone. Sometimes, the visceral reaction to the ideas might lead to words better not said. Give all parties a chance to relax and think.
Cancel the meeting if it gets too heated
If you feel like different parties won’t give up, you can call the meeting off. Speak with the groups privately before calling for the next meeting. If the anger gets directed at you, it helps to stay calm. You can also cancel the discussion if you believe nothing will be resolved on the spot.
If you already know that the discussion will start to get heated, you should have rules. Involve everyone in creating the rules to have a sense of ownership. It’s easier to remind the employees of what they need to do if they got involved in the rule creation process.
Play some clips
If you can’t agree on some details, you can watch videos and other information. A better understanding of the problem will help improve the discussion. The information presented in the video might help. You can consider placing a projector on the ceiling using a projector mount if you want everyone in the room to see these videos. You will use the meeting room frequently, and this investment will be worth it.
Don’t be defensive
It’s easy to be defensive when the discussion starts to get heated. If you’re talking about policy changes, people will complain to you. Instead of being defensive, try to be more empathetic. Listen to what others have to say. Perhaps, they’re right. Don’t shrug other ideas off and believe that you’re the only one with the right idea. You also don’t want to break relationships during the process.
Remind everyone of the goal
You’re having a meeting not to prove who has the best ideas. It’s also not about immediately resolving conflicts. The goal is to find ways to improve the business, including how you treat each other. Keep your employees grounded, and they will be more cooperative.
Maintain your cool
It’s easy to get lost in the conversation, especially with both sides expressing anger and frustration. There are times when you want to scream to end the exchange. However, your violent reaction won’t solve anything. Try your best to maintain your cool. Stay relaxed, and don’t let anything stop you from being a good leader.
It’s natural for some employees to be aggressive and defensive. They have the right to express themselves. As long as you can control the discussion and prevent heightened emotions, it’s good enough.