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Remaining calm when dealing with people is always a challenge, particularly if you are confronted by an angry person, or by someone who has made an unjust accusation. It’s also easy to make the situation worse if you respond with either anger or indifference.

Be attentive. Listen calmly to what a person has to say before responding. If you look genuinely interested in what a person is saying then that can have a calming influence on someone who is angry for instance. If you have been falsely accused of something, then, again remain calm and put forward your case in a controlled way. If you were in the wrong, be big enough to accept it. An apology will usually be appreciated and indicate that you care about the feelings of the person concerned.

Tense situations can often be faced by people who have to deal with the general public or customers. Consequently, knowing how to respond in an appropriate manner then becomes imperative. Just as an angry response can inflame a tense situation, so can a calm response defuse it.

If you feel threatened by a person, then you should try and remain calm, but leave the room and come back with assistance. Plus, leaving the person on their own may also give them time to calm down.

Sometimes, far from showing any animated sign of anger, a person will retreat into their shell and just sulk. Here it’s important to get that person to talk about what has upset them. This can prove to be frustrating if they refuse to ‘open up’, but if you start becoming flustered then the chances of getting to the bottom of things will recede.

Always try and understand the reasons behind what may seem like irrational behaviour. If a normally cheerful work colleague seems snappy for no reason then that reason may be nothing to do with you, or work, but more to do with problems at home. Asking them to have a chat at a break can make them feel that they then have a shoulder to cry on.