4 ways leaders can ease a tense meeting

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One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is taking charge of meetings, but unfortunately, tensions can arise that threaten to create a toxic environment, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Here are the four actions leaders can take to relieve tension at a meeting.

1. Interrupt the chaos. Because all emotions have a tempo, one of the most effective ways to change the mood of a room is to change its tempo. Slow down your speed of speech and lower your voice to garner initial attention.

2. Shift to process. Stay objective and give people's egos a chance to cool down and move away from personal accusations of who created problems. Instead, shift toward the problem-solving process and focus on tangible actions the team can take to remedy whatever the problem is.

3. Propose a structure. Once the focus has shifted, give your team a framework within which they can solve problems.

4. Honor the agreement. After the team has begun to problem solve according to your structure, make sure they stay within the established boundaries and hold yourself to the same standards.

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