Alan Duff does a “rant”. He claims to the judge in the Taupo court that this is not aggressive. It is just a rant. The policewoman involved in issuing him the speeding ticket certainly thought he was aggressive.
Is ranting aggressive? Was he angry? Was he easy to deal with?
Whether it was experienced as aggressive depends on the person on the receiving end and on the circumstances. Some rants are rather amusing. The customer may just be going on and on about something.
If there are raised voices and threatening gestures that go with the rant and the person on the receiving end feels threatened then it is aggressive.
What is more important is that we learn how to deal with someone who does a rant. Even if they are funny, laughing probably won’t help. You might need to pause and take a moment to catch your breath and collect your thoughts.
The policewoman was probably always going to get a rant from Alan Duff. She was giving him a ticket and needed to hold on to her authority.
Most of us can take the easier route. Acknowledge the feelings. Wait, empathically for them to calm down. Let them know you hear them. When they calm down you can then say “I’m sorry you are so upset, I still have to charge you the extra…” or whatever you have to say.
Posted by John Faisandier on 9th April, 2008