So have you ever had to deal with someone at work and they are NOT exactly acting the consummate professional?
They may be volatile, angry, raising their voice, intransigent, threatening, acting the a*s, maybe even a little meshuga.
Yeah, unfortunately it happens (although it absolutely shouldn’t)!
People have crap going on in the office, at home, and sometimes they come in and they just can’t cope.
G-d forbid, they should never really “go postal” as in real violence–but you never really know what you are going to be dealing with.
One colleague said some people are just “hypervolic“–a new word for someone who is excessive, over the top, and emotionally volcanic!
Another colleague I know who is excellent with people and has decades of experience dealing with a cast of characters told me, “I just look at everyone as a bomb ready to go off.“
Ugh, not exactly how I would want to perceive people around me, but the point is well taken–you never know (and you can almost hear the ticking now).
With some people we sort of know from dealing with them that they have some marbles loose, and while others may appear calm, cool, and collected on the outside, on the inside they may be a volcano ready to blow.
Heck, you can’t read everyone right and even if you do, you can try to calm them down, listen to them, work with them, talk sense to them, suggest some counseling or other outside assistance, but even then they may go off the deep end.
Lots of personalities out there, lots of people with problems and stresses, and sometimes we in our best intentions may make mistakes or unknowingly say the wrong thing and it only inflames the situation.
Of course hopefully, calmer heads will prevail, professionalism will take front seat, and people will get some perspective and do the right thing…chill man!
But also keep in mind what my colleagues said, some people may just be ready to go explode–like a volcano–and we need to be ready for that too.
How do you prepare for this?
Yeah, I don’t remember them covering that subject in leadership training–maybe with the exception of listen, show empathy, and if worst comes to worst you can either head for the exits to get away or shelter in place before the human stress bomb goes big boom! 😉
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Camilo Rueda Lopez)