How to Deal With an Angry Mob / Group

Once you attain large enough influence in life, every action you commit will be subject to public scrutiny. The tips you’ll read in this article are unsurprising by nature. However, these fundamentals are difficult to master, and you should attempt to strictly abide to these simple processes of mitigating things gone awry.

You may be a target of an angered group for various reasons in life. As the ventures you partake in increase in seriousness, the consequences for any actions that you or the ones around you commit will naturally be publicized by the limelight.

Let’s take the approach of analyzing an example of what someone in a management position should do if their company gets in trouble with its consumer base. For the purpose of this article – and since this is a somewhat common occurrence – let’s simulate a data breach occurring at a company in which you hold a leadership position.


Study and Acknowledge

The first thing you should be doing as a leader of a group in trouble with the public, is to gather as much information about the issue at hand as possible. Do your research on what caused the events which have unfolded, and what exactly the mass of people are up in arms about. There are cases when your understanding of the problem isn’t what the disgruntled party is focused on from the outside looking in. Be in tune with what the populous is actually angry over, and study all the facts of the matter which gave birth to the reactions against you.

Once you get a clear picture of what people are angry with you over, let them know that you understand their concerns. Don’t do this by simply exclaiming that you understand. Show them that you have studied and understand the issues at hand. Repeat their concerns right back to them, while not making any excuses doing so. Go through all the steps that went wrong in the process of doing business, and don’t be afraid to either take responsibility or share their concerns without admitting liability with others on your end.

This is an important step in the efforts to mitigate anger from groups of people. Your first priority should be to disarm any verbal attacks they have in store by voicing them from your mouth first. People tend to ease their anger when their judgments are presented right back to them without their petition for it. Allow people to notice that you understand the situation at hand, and your chances of being listened to in subsequent stages of your interaction will increase.


Don’t Lie to Yourself and Others

Honesty will continue to disarm the attacks that come towards you, while dishonesty will only add more fuel to the fire. Be careful about being dishonest in situations when many ears and eyes are tuned to what you’re saying and doing. Your best bet is to swallow your pride and be honest in all the things that you’re presenting. Though it may be difficult to believe, people are less likely to judge the harshness of your truth as they are to judge your character during times of handling trouble caused by those harsh truths. You need to be respectable in how you take responsibility for the mistakes that you’ve made, and not try to weasel your way out of anything.

If something is true, acknowledge it. You will have an easier time denying false claims when you are willing to accept the truth.


Concrete and Objective Solutions

Now that those who listen have witnessed, and have grown to accept your understanding of the matter at hand, work on providing concrete and objective solutions to the issues. Your understanding and acceptance of the problems that other people have surrounding your behavior – or the behavior of those associated with you – is one half of the task at hand. Prior to presenting yourself to be judged by those who are angered by your actions, you should have meticulously thought and planned the solution to each and every issue. Do not allow anyone else to have a better idea of how to mitigate the issues at hand than you.

Have a concrete plan laid out and present it well. Connect each action you are planning to take with the issues that those actions attempt to solve. Explain your thoughts about why the proposed plans will mitigate all the problems at play, and allow your audience to provide feedback.

It is difficult to come up with solutions to the unique issues that you are facing by writing this article. However, let the following words guide your process in achieving your desired solutions:

Be detail-oriented and honest with how to solve the problems at hand. It is your responsibility to think of every corner and crevice related to all issues that you face, and it is your duty to clearly explain these thoughts to the groups of people who have been angered by your wrongdoings.

Read our analyses of current events by becoming a Patron.

Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.