Have you ever been accused of overreacting? Have you ever accused someone else of overreacting? Today host John Laurito shares what you can do to de-escalate when someone overreacts. It is easy to let your gut react in sensitive situations, but if you can control your feelings and let your mind do the work you can enhance your relationships and keep things from getting out of hand.
[2:02] Overreaction is a human emotion
[4:40] Avoid getting emotional
[5:59] Focus on the facts
[6:29] Don’t forget to be empathetic
[7:37] Share the ripple effects of what they do
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader.
John All right. Tomorrow’s leaders. Welcome to the show. Great to be back here with you again. It’s been a little bit it’s been crazy, crazy busy in my world. I know. It’s been crazy busy in your world. I appreciate you carving out the time to listen to this podcast and I have so many topics and thank you for your ideas. I get all kinds of messages from all of you giving ideas on topics which are so great. Keep them coming, please. It means a tremendous amount. And to be honest with you, I get most of my best ideas from you. So that’s why you’re my loyal audience and I love you so much. So I am, by the way, I just this is like take six, you know, sometimes, you know, I go into this and I just am full of great, perfect thoughts and I know how to express them. And other times it’s just, you know, I get to redo it and I got to do it again. Sometimes they do an intentional they just because I want to try and get all the the fluff out and get right into it, get right into podcast mode. Because if I haven’t done it for a week or whatever and you know, these come out every single week, I do not miss a week in two and a half years of doing this.
John I’ve not missed a week. So sometimes I’m like doing I’m at 11:00 at night, I’m not now. But anyways, you know, some parts of the day I got my gift of gab and silver tongue, and other times I feel like I get a big rock in my mouth. So anyways, that would make a really cool video. Getting all these bloopers together in this compilation video and maybe I’ll do that. So in any event. So today’s topic is something that I know we all deal with, whether you are a formal leader in a leadership position or not, we’re all leaders. We know that. And we deal with people sometimes that overreact to things. What do you ever overreact to? I never overreact to anything. Never? Well, yeah, of course we all do it. Well, here’s the deal. I mean, in reality, overreaction is is an emotion. It’s us responding to something. Something happened that really pissed us off or made us upset or got us depressed or really excited. And we react. We overreact, a small thing happens and we overreact. We think of overreacting as anger. Oftentimes it is. But it’s anything that we our response does not match the stimulus. We are making a major decision based on something small. We are making a long term decision based on something that’s short term. Whatever it is, is an overreaction. And this is critical because this is where leadership is so important. Self leadership is so important, but leading others is critical as well. And you as a as tomorrow’s leader can be really, really effective at this. And this came up recently. I saw somebody making about to make a major, major, major business decision like major because of a very, very small situation.
John They basically got a disagreement with somebody. And this disagreement, they get just so fed up, they’re like and they were just about to pull the plug basically on a major business, a big business. I’m like, what? Just made no sense whatsoever. I mean, like, it would have been this major reaction. It was like somebody, you know, thrown a paperclip at you and you you launch a, you know, surface to air missile at them. I mean, just a crazy overreaction. So the the the basically the the the reaction when it’s not matching the stimulus, when it’s not when, you know, it’s an overreaction, how do you how do you deal with this? How do you lead somebody? How do you help them avoid the disaster that comes when we make decisions at an emotional state? And I’m not just talking about a a negative emotion when I’m overconfident, excited, euphoric, whatever. I can make a bad decision. And I have or do dumb things or say dumb things, whatever. It’s not just decisions, it’s thoughts. It’s things we say, it’s actions, whatever. But how do we avoid that? Well, today I’m not going to talk about how we lead ourselves. I’m going to do that in other episodes. But today I want to talk about how do you handle somebody? If you’re the leader, you’re in a position to influence someone else. I want to share with you something and just four simple things to keep in mind that will help the outcome of that situation. Okay. That will help the outcome. Number one, here’s the most important thing. When you’re dealing with somebody and they may be coming at you with anger, they may be coming at you with, you know, super high level of stress or or excitement, whatnot, whatever it is.
John Realize the only way you’re going to effectively influence them is if you avoid getting emotional. So keep your cool. Okay, that’s number one. Keep your cool. It’s amazing how you keeping your cool will bring somebody back into a more stable state. Okay. If you get if you match their state, then that’s going to just. Exacerbate the situation if they’re coming at you and you’re they’re angry and you coming at them and angry. I very rarely seen that happen. And I’ve done it. Have we all done it? You know, somebody comes out, you’re going to go at them. I get it. But if you’re really trying to get this person to the right place and oftentimes somebody is mad and they’re not even mad at you, they’re just angry of the situation. Your job, first of all, is try to remove their emotions. And one of the best way you can do that is keep your cool, number one. Number two, focus on the facts. Keep this a fact based conversation as much as you can. Keep centering them on the facts, because a lot of times emotions are created due to misinformation or, hey, I think this or I feel this misperception is causing their reaction and sometimes it’s just reminding them of what the facts of the situation are and not to draw conclusions that may not be there that are causing these emotions. That’s number two. Focus on the facts. Number three, don’t forget to be empathetic. I don’t mean forget to be empathetic because I’m hoping you’re an empathetic person, but show empathy. And I do this through a reflective probe. Hey, if I’m hearing you right or if I’m understanding your right, you’re really upset. And here’s a reason why. Because you feel like this person just did something to harm you.
John You feel like they did it intentionally. Am I understanding that? And you’re feeling let down? And because of that, that’s why you’re making this decision. And this is to show them how frustrated and angry. And you don’t take this. Am I understanding the situation? Reflective probes are great. They share. They show people that you understand that you’re taking the time to really understand them, but they’re also exactly what they are. Hey, am I really understand this? Do I have it right? Do I not have a right? If I don’t, tell me? Okay. But that’s showing empathy as well. As I understand. I can appreciate. I could. If that happened to me, I’d feel the exact same way. I get it. But let’s take a look at the facts. If you do what you’re doing, then here’s what the outcome is. Here’s what happens. Not just short term. Yes, you win the battle, but here’s how you lose the war. Now, this is number four, which is really key, and that is share with them the things that that will happen. What is the ripple effect on the things that they will do and what can they control? What are the action steps? So maybe this is a fifth one, but I’m going to keep it to four. So share them the picture, the outcome of what their path is, and recenter them on the things that they can control. What can they do? So, hey, if I here’s I get it. I understand. I know what you’re feeling. I know how you’re thinking and you’re about to do this. And here’s the reason why. But let me just share with you. If you do this, here’s what will happen. Yes, this person will hear you loud and clear, but then two days later, they’re going to forget about it that you made the decision to leave or do whatever you’re going to do and you’re going to be somewhere else.
John You’re not going to be as happy. You’re going to regret the decision, remind them of how this is going to play out, not just short term, because, again, people are focused on winning the battle or dealing with this emotional making this decision, but they’re not realizing the long term implications of that. So you and your cool, levelheaded state are in the best place to let them know that and recenter them to, Hey, what can you do? The three things I can control or what I think what I say and what I do, I can’t control what somebody else thinks or what they say or what they do. I can control what I think and say and do. So utilize those three things. If it’s something that I can’t have, I don’t have any control over. And a decision has been made that I don’t like, okay, I can’t change the decision. So why am I overreacting? Because of that. Why am I at such a high emotional state? Let me think about how I can take action or what I can do that’s within my control to make my world or my situation better. There’s got to be something. If I start, stop thinking about all the things I can’t control and I start thinking about the things I can control. It gives me a sense of power. It reduces my stress, and it allows my creative juices to get going. And believe it or not, that’s how you come up with great ideas, great solutions. You have to put your brain in a place where it can think like that. Okay, I hope that helps. Those are my four quick ideas on how to deal with somebody who’s overreacting. Take that advice. Do something with it.
John Let me know what you think. I hope this is helpful. Okay. This comes from real life situations. I know you’ve had them yourself. I’m interested in your stories to, of course, share those with me. And in the meantime, like share, subscribe, go down below, give a five star review and I’ll see you next time. Thanks. Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com.