Book Joshua
5-Step Guide to Realign After Disruption

Get your team back on track and reengaged at work after organizational shifts.

Managing Aggression in the Office

Four Effective Techniques for Managing Aggression in the Office

When faced with an aggressive coworker or manager in the workplace, it can be difficult to know how to react. The stress and pressure of an aggressive situation can make it difficult to stay focused and productive, but there are some strategies you can use to effectively manage aggressive people. In this blog post, we will explore four effective techniques for managing aggression in the office, so that you can keep your focus and maintain a productive environment.



One of the easiest and most commonly used techniques for dealing with aggression in the workplace is avoidance. In this technique, an individual makes an effort to avoid any interactions with the aggressive coworker or manager that may result in conflict or confrontation. This can be accomplished by physically distancing oneself, avoiding eye contact, or redirecting conversations to focus on the task at hand.
While avoidance may seem like a passive approach, it can be highly effective in preventing escalation of aggression. It also provides a time buffer, allowing emotions to settle down and individuals to approach the situation with a clearer mind.
However, there are drawbacks to avoidance as well. Over time, avoiding confrontation can lead to resentment and a buildup of tension. This can lead to an overall negative work environment and ultimately impact the performance of the entire team. It is also not a sustainable long-term solution and may require more direct action in the future.
In addition, avoiding confrontation altogether can also be interpreted as a sign of weakness by the aggressive coworker or manager. This can embolden their behavior and make it more difficult to assert oneself in the future.
Therefore, while avoidance can be an effective short-term solution, it is important to eventually address the underlying issue through open communication and clear boundaries. In the meantime, practicing avoidance in a respectful and professional manner can be a helpful tool in managing aggressive behavior in the workplace.



Assertiveness is a great technique for dealing with aggressive coworkers and managers. It involves being clear, confident, and direct in communicating your needs and boundaries while still being respectful of others. When you’re assertive, you’re standing up for yourself without attacking or disrespecting others.
Here are some tips on how to be assertive:
1. Be clear and specific. When you’re communicating with an aggressive coworker or manager, make sure you’re being clear and specific about what you need and what you expect. Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, say “I need more time to finish this task” instead of “You’re not giving me enough time.”
2. Use confident body language. Stand tall, maintain eye contact, and speak in a clear and confident voice. This will help you appear more assertive and in control.
3. Practice active listening. When the other person is speaking, make sure you’re really listening to what they’re saying. Paraphrase their points back to them to show that you understand and are paying attention.
4. Offer solutions. If you’re having a conflict with an aggressive coworker or manager, try to come up with solutions that will work for both of you. This will show that you’re willing to work together to find a solution, rather than just blaming or attacking the other person.
Being assertive can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to standing up for yourself. But with practice, you can learn to communicate effectively and manage aggression in the workplace. Remember, being assertive doesn’t mean being aggressive – it means being confident and respectful while still standing up for yourself.



When it comes to dealing with aggression in the office, passivity is often viewed as a negative approach. However, it can be an effective method for managing aggressive coworkers or managers if done properly.
Passivity involves not reacting or engaging with the aggressive individual, instead, remaining calm and composed. This approach can help avoid escalating the situation and prevent any unnecessary conflicts.
The key to effectively using passivity is to remain assertive in your position while also maintaining a non-confrontational demeanor. For example, if an aggressive coworker starts shouting or becoming hostile towards you, it’s important to remain calm and unemotional in your response. Simply state your position in a neutral tone, such as “I understand your concerns, but I need to focus on completing this task right now.”
One disadvantage of passivity is that it can sometimes be misconstrued as weakness. Aggressive coworkers or managers may interpret your non-reaction as a sign that they can continue to behave poorly without any consequences. In order to avoid this, it’s important to make it clear that while you may not be engaging in their behavior, you will not tolerate it either. This can be communicated through your body language and tone of voice, which should remain firm and confident.
Passivity is most effective in situations where the aggression is not a constant occurrence and can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If you find yourself dealing with regular aggression from a coworker or manager, it’s important to consider other techniques, such as assertiveness or avoidance.
In summary, passivity can be a useful technique for managing aggression in the office if executed correctly. By remaining calm and composed, while also assertively communicating your boundaries, you can diffuse tense situations and prevent unnecessary conflicts.



Sometimes, it can be challenging to determine the best approach to take when dealing with aggressive people in the office. One effective technique for managing aggression is a combination of avoidance, assertiveness, and passivity.
When using a combination approach, the idea is to blend elements of the three approaches, depending on the situation. For example, if you are dealing with an aggressive coworker or manager, you could begin by using avoidance techniques. Avoiding unnecessary interaction with the individual can prevent the escalation of aggression.
However, if the situation continues to escalate, it may be necessary to assert yourself. Using assertiveness techniques such as “I” statements, staying calm, and listening actively can help you stand up for yourself without provoking further aggression.
But sometimes, even assertiveness may not be enough to calm down an aggressive coworker or manager. In these instances, it may be best to take a passive approach. Instead of engaging with the individual, try to de-escalate the situation by listening to their concerns and acknowledging their feelings.
Using a combination of these techniques can be a useful tool for managing aggression in the office. Knowing when to use each approach will take time and practice, but it is worth the effort in the long run.
However, it is essential to remember that aggressive behavior is not acceptable in the workplace, and it is okay to seek support from human resources or a manager if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
By combining avoidance, assertiveness, and passivity techniques, you can effectively manage aggression in the workplace and create a positive and productive environment for everyone.

We use cookies on this website. To learn about the cookies we use and information about your preferences and opt-out choices, please click here. By using our website, you agree to the use of our cookies.