When you have to talk to someone that is uncooperative or angry it can be really hard and challenging. The key here is to try and deescalate the situation and help the person calm down and perhaps see another perspective to the problem. Some tips to do this include…

Uncooperative behaviour: ”DO’s”
· Listen first to understand the person’s perspective and concerns.
· Ask questions such as What do you think is a fair way to deal with this situation? or How can I help to resolve this problem?
· Let them know what you are able to do to help (without compromising your boundaries).
· If they continue to insist on something that is unreasonable or that you can’t deliver, you may have to repeat this (gently yet firmly) several times before they hear you.
· Use reasonable language and try to stay calm.
· Agree on an action plan that includes the things you will do and the things they will need to do.
· Refer the person to your supervisor, manager or third party if you are unable to resolve the problem.

Uncooperative behaviour: “UNHELPFUL THINGS”
· Let the person’s attitude and concerns become your problem.
· Become flustered.
· Show your frustration in your gestures, voice tone and other signals,
· Talk over the person.
· Raise your voice or shout.

Anger and Aggression: “DO’s”
· Let the person speak.
· Listen carefully to the reasons for their anger.
· Acknowledge that they are upset or frustrated (Say- You seem to be quite upset).
· If applicable, apologise for minor errors made by you, your office or organisation.
· Show that you are listening by clearly summarising the complaint in your own words.
· Assure them that you are interested in helping them to resolve the issue.
· Ask questions to draw them out. (Say – Can you tell me a bit more about what happened?)

Anger and Aggression: “ UNHELPFUL THINGS”
· Tell the person to calm down or “get a grip”.
· Raise your voice.
· Interrupt.
· Try to complete their sentences for them.
· Promise something you know you cannot deliver.
· Use the word ‘but’.