opposition; he/she is always right and knows what everyone should do. The
"exploder" has temper tantrums; he/she launches a raging attack on whoever
frustrates him/her. Bramson recommends handling the "tank" and the "exploder" as
follows: (1) let him/her have a little time to run down. (2) Assertively intervene by
looking him/her in the eye and saying, "John/Mary, come here and sit down, I want
you to clearly understand a different view or approach." You have a right to be
heard; so do others. However, never attack a "tank" or his/her ideas directly; you're
likely to get crushed. (3) State your opinions briefly, forcefully, and clearly. (4) Try
to be friendly and open to compromise.
With a "sniper," who shoots you down with comments or gestures behind
your back while smiling to your face, (1) don't let him/her get away with the
back stabbing. (2) Confront and ask him/her to state his/her views openly but
don't accept the sniper's views right away or let him/her take over. Instead,
get other viewpoints and have the entire group get involved in solving the
problem. (3) Prevent future sniping by having regular problem-solving
meetings and call on the sniper often.
If you are concerned with continuing the relationship after the
disagreement is settled, it means more time and caution may have to be
taken. Listen to him/her, perhaps privately. Try to see his/her side. Don't try
to explain or defend yourself until he/she is finished. Admit your mistakes.
Accept his/her anger--let him/her vent it. Be prepared to compromise.
Perhaps forgive him/her.
Some people seem compelled, emotionally driven to be angry. You
probably can not change such a person (although you should give it your best
try for a while). In an organization where trouble makers can't be fired, the
best you can do with some perpetual "haters" is to isolate them and, thus, try
to minimize their destructive influence.
Reducing the other persons anger and aggression
First of all, recognize you aren't a therapist. It isn't your job to cure
someone of hatred. But, you may be a parent dealing with an aggressive child
or teenager (Eastman & Rozen, 1994; Farmer, 1989). And you, of course,
want to do whatever you can to bring about peace and cooperation in your
group. There are some things to keep in mind
Since persons who feel they have been wronged are more likely to be
belligerent and violent, you should be sure they have been dealt with fairly.
In addition, it would be wise to help them meet as many of their needs as
possible without reinforcing their aggressiveness or discriminating in their
favor. Likewise, avoid interactions with them that encourage intense emotions
or threats of violence. Certainly do not interact with your angry "enemies"
when they are drinking or carrying weapons. Say or do nothing that would
incite more anger or, on the other hand, cause you to appear to be scared,
weak, and a "pushover."
If you are in a position to do so (e.g. a parent), you might extinguish the
other person's aggressive responses. For instance, don't meet your sons