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June 16, 2021
Diffusing an Angry Volunteer
By New Churches Team
Maybe it’s happened to you. You are running through a regular weekend service, minding your own business, and things get tense. Cut it with a knife tense. Something doesn’t go as planned, systems begin to breakdown, communication lines begin to get blurred, and people begin to get riled up. What do you do when the angry people are a part of your volunteer team?
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. Here’s a process to follow when a team member gets upset.
- Focus on the relationship. It may be that you aren’t the best one to talk to the volunteer who is involved. Perhaps you don’t have a strong relationship with them, but a fellow leader or team member does. Consider involving that person first so that you aren’t exacerbating the situation.
- Isolate. Do your best to get the volunteer in question away from others. Especially in the heat of the moment, it does little good to let them continue to rant in a public setting. Invite them kindly and graciously to step outside or to a private room. Show them respect by lovingly confronting them in private.
- Get the facts and find common ground. Figure out exactly what happened. Ask questions. Let them vent. And whenever you can, use a phrase similar to “I can understand why that makes you angry. It would make me angry too.” Of course, only use that phrase if you can do so truthfully.
To read the remainder of this article, and to listen to the entire video training with Danny Franks, click here for the full videos and post.
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