Handling Angry People

Bill Gallagher

Leaders in action occasionally get upset and want to quit. How can you handle angry people with big complaints? Deeper listening is the key.


Bill had a client who got into a fight with another manager. After listening deeply to his grievances, Bill was able to explore curiosity around the other manager in the fight, which then gave space for the angry manager to do so as well. When he did, he was able to go deeper and consider why the other manager might have gotten so upset. With greater compassion, he was able to address the real issue at hand.


Behind every complaint is something virtuous. When you can point to the virtue amidst the complaint, understanding and effective change can take place. If you can stop fighting for your own position and consider what the other person is asking for, the underlying virtue can be addressed.


Dealing with upset people can rapidly be shifted when you listen for and name the unspoken value that they are fighting for.



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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


Bill Gallagher, Scaling Coach and host of the show, is an international business coach who works with C-Suite leaders to achieve breakthrough growth.


We help leadership teams with the biggest decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth. Scaling Up is based on Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.


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