Doesn’t matter if it’s a co-worker, a customer or your CEO — never utter these two words:
Those two tiny words can escalate any situation and virtually guarantee the other person will only become more upset.
By telling the person who perceives him or herself to be wronged, you’re implying that individual is in the wrong to react that way. Most likely, on some level, that person has a reason to be upset — even if it’s just because of frustration over a misunderstanding.
Doesn’t mean you don’t want to actively try to calm that other person down. You just don’t want them to feel like it.
The best ways to do that:
- Don’t interrupt. Let the person speak his or her piece. It also shows you’re actively listening.
- Let ’em vent. Sometimes people aren’t looking for a fix — they just want to let off steam.
- Try not to use the word “you” often. Wherever possible, use “I” or “we” more than “you,” which puts folks on the defensive and sounds blaming.
Sound off: What are some of the other terrible things you can say to someone who’s upset – ones you’ve said or those that have been said to you? Share them with us here.