Dealing with Angry People

Educational Objective: The student will respond appropriately when someone is very angry and is addressing them.
Language Arts Standard:
Listening and Speaking
Materials Needed:
Brainstorm Form
Appropriate Rubric: One for each student to complete during each role play. To download the student rubric, click here

The Lesson:

• Identify Need
• Introductory Activity
• Define Steps and Sequences of Skill
1. You should not react personally in the heat of a disturbance.

2. It is critical as the staff member you retain your professional control throughout any confrontation.

3. In dealing with someone who has lost his control of his emotions, you must not react to any of his insults. If you do react with anger you risk escalating an already volatile situation.

4.Remember to use "verbal-judo," i.e. using verbal rather than physical force.

  • Give the person the last word. You have the last act.
  • Let the person save face. You just try to control the situation.
  • Separate the out of control person from the situation. (Some people love an audience when they are out of control.)
  • Do not give ultimatums that can not be implemented.
  • Provide the person with alternatives to the situation. Make them feel that they are empowered.

5. Even though the adrenaline may be flowing, you must always present a calm, controlled demeanor.

6. Sometimes a cooling off period is needed for the person to calm down and reflect on the situation.

7.You must make an effort to remain unbiased in recognizing gender and cultural differences.

Rubric for the Role Plays

Student (Speaker)____________________________ Student (Subject)____________________________

Date: _____________________
Observer's Name:___________________________________________

Observations: No Yes
Did the speaker refrain from acting personally involved in the dispute?    
Did the speaker maintain self-control throughout the confrontation?    
Did the speaker try to listen actively (or appear to be concerned)?    
Did the speaker restate the concern?    
Did the speaker allow the complainant to have the last word?    
Did the speaker give the complainant some choices?    
Did the speaker give the person time to "cool-off"?
Did the speaker seem unbiased about the complaint?    
Did the speaker brainstorm some win-win situations?    
Did the speaker thank the person for expressing his views?    

Additional Comments: _______________________________________________________________________