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Here's how to deal with Jim's violent threats and anger during performance review meetings

by , 23 June 2014
Let's say you have an employee called Jim. You employed him last year. When you conducted your performance review meetings with him last year, he displayed violent behaviour and started hurling insults when you asked him questions about his performance.

At the time, you let the incident go, but you don't want to face a similar situation this year.

Now the big question is: How will you deal with Jim's anger and violent behaviour during your upcoming review meeting?

Read on to find out what you need to do when an employee reacts violently or threatens you during performance review meetings.

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Here's how to deal with Jim's violent threats and anger during performance review meetings

Experts behind the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management always say that performance review meetings can bring out both the best and worst in your employees. And one of the things they bring out is anger.

So what's the best way to deal with anger?

According to the experts, the best way to deal with anger is to be cool, calm, collected and in control.

So if Jim reacts in an angry manner, be firm, raise your voice slightly and say in a commanding but very controlled tone:

'Enough! I won't tolerate such outbursts. You'll behave appropriately or I'll be forced to take disciplinary action! I won't tolerate abusive behaviour. I'm treating you with respect and you will show me the same courtesy.

I remind you that this is your place of employment and that your behaviour must reflect the company's code of conduct at all times. Now, let's all take a deep breath and calm down. Sit back down and let's pick up where we left off. I'll give you ample opportunity to speak once I've finished what I have to say. So where were we?

It's also a good idea to take a short, five minute break so that tempers can cool.

If you feel it's inappropriate to continue with the meeting, end it immediately and reschedule. Say, for example:

'I think that's enough for today. I'm going to give you time to cool down and we'll resume this performance review here, tomorrow at 10am, but I'm warning you that I won't tolerate a similar outburst. I'll see you here tomorrow to continue where we left off in the discussion of your performance.'

Don't try to make small talk or be reconciliatory because your employee could see this as weakness. Rather, maintain an air of disapproval as you walk away but make sure when the meeting resumes you allow your employee a clean slate start.

Just remember this one thing when dealing with threats or anger.

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Don't reciprocate when Jim becomes violent during performance review meetings

The worst way to deal with anger is with reciprocal anger as it only further inflames the situation. So stay calm all the time so your performance review meeting can proceed well.

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