Chances are pretty good we all know a few people at work who tend to get upset over little things. When something big comes up, it can make for a dangerous situation. Terrible things might be said, and worse decisions might be made in the heat of the moment. Learning how to deal with an angry co-worker can help you both keep your cool, and maintain a professional working environment. If you know someone a little hot-headed in your work place, learn how to deal with an angry co-worker to prevent any incident from occurring.
Take a minute to cool down. Before you think of ways to deal with an angry co-worker, you both need to calm down. If you think your co-worker might do something stupid, try to stop them. Don't let them talk to anyone, or do anything that might put your jobs in jeopardy -- chances are whatever happens will look to be partially your fault. Take a step outside, even go for a short walk and take some time to think about everything. Wait until you in control.
Talk with your co-worker. Once you have cooled down, you can calmly deal with an angry co-worker. Begin by apologizing, even if you weren't the guilty party. An apology will open up conversation and show that you're trying to make amends. Let your co-worker vent and say what they need to say. Talk about the situation professionally.
Propose a solution. So that you don't have to deal with an angry co-worker in the future, propose a solution to the problem. You should acknowledge your faults and possible contribution to the problem. Tell your co-worker what you plan to change to avoid further instances. Your co-worker should catch on, and commit to preventing similar problems in the future. Keep your meeting professional and let your co-worker know you can help them out to avoid further confrontation.
Monitor progress. Talk to your co-worker on a regular basis and see how they're doing. If you keep communication open, it will be easier to notice when their mood is on the edge. After talking to your co-worker, hopefully those angry moments are growing few and far between. Deal with an angry co-worker by being nice and supportive. It's a lot more difficult to be angry with someone who's nice and professional.
Talk to a manager. If you continually have to deal with an angry co-worker, it might be time to talk to a manager. Talk to your co-worker first, and make sure you try to resolve the issue between yourselves. As you monitor the progress, if your co-worker doesn't seem to be improving, tell your manager about how you tried to deal with the situation. Tell your side of the story, and try to come to a resolution with your manager. Find a resolution that avoids dealing with an angry co-worker in the future.