Conflict Managment – Handling the Tank’s Aggressive Behavioural
In this article I would like to focus on the first unwanted behaviour “The Tank”
When you are under attack by the tank, you’ve been targeted as part of the problem. The aggressive behaviour is meant to either shove you back on course or eliminate the obstacle that you represent. Your goal must be to command respect, because Tanks simply don’t attack people they respect. Aggressive people require assertive reactions. Here’s a five step plan that will send a clear signal that you are strong and capable.
1.Hold your ground – Stay put. Don’t change your position and don’t go on either the offensive or the defensive. Wait until the attack is over, then tell the Tank what you’re going to do about it (even if it means walking away) – and do it. Other times, you may need to proceed
2.Interrupt the attack – Say the person’s name over and over until you have his or her full attention. Once you’re begun this step, don’t back off. Aggressive people like assertive people who stand up for themselves, as long as this isn’t perceived as an attack. Keep your voice volume at 75% of the Tank’s volume. Then he or she will perceive you as assertive but not aggressive.
3.Backtrack – Now that you have the Tank’s attention, backtrack the main accusation. This sets a good example of listening with respect and conveys that you’ve heard him or her. A Tank has a sort attention span. Two sentences will do. He or she will go back to venting. Wait a few seconds, then interrupt again and backtrack again.
4.Aim for the bottom line and fire! Redirect the conversation to the bottom line – the Tank’s if he or she is right, yours if he or she is wrong. The Tank wants to get it done,and your best chance of ending the attack is to blend with his or her intent. The bottom line varies with your situation, but can usually be stated in about two sentences. Keep it short and sweet: the attention span of the Tank is extremely short. Try to establish that you and he or she are on the same side : e.g. “We both want what’s best on this project.” Or respond with a problem: e.g. ” That’s terrible, I’m here to help you and we’re going to do something about it!” A take-charge attitude will definitely blend with the Tank. If you’re not on the same side, just tell it like it is : e.g. “I’ll discuss this with you when you’re ready to communicate in a reasonable manner.”
5.Peace and Honor – Never close the door in the Tank’s face. When you leave the door open the Tank has the opportunity to back off and probably will take it. You can let him or her have the last word ….. but you decide where and when this happens: e.g. “When you’re ready to talk to me with respect, I’m willing to hear what you have to say.”
I hope this solution is of some assistance to you and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.