Mark Bowden: How to tell if your boss is about to explode (video transcript)

Liane: So you tell a story in the book that you call “You’re Gonna Blow” or “Look Out, He’s Gonna Blow.” So I think we all can relate to a boss who all of a sudden, we think is gonna blow. You know, it’s like, you’re a volcanologist or something. How do we know that someone we’re dealing with, what can we see? Can we see in their body language that this may be a time to deescalate because someone’s gonna blow. What do we watch for?

Mark: Yeah. So what we find in body language and language is that there’s a lot of metaphors and images. So the idea of blowing is about the pressure getting too great. So what would you expect to see, you know, if a balloon is going to burst, you know, what would you expect? Well, you’d expect the balloon to get bigger and tighter. And balloons as they’re blown up, they change color as well. They change tonality. So as emotions heighten, changes happen in the body. So if somebody’s maybe about to blow we might see the skin tone change, yeah? We might see the skin, like a balloon, tighten, as they try and hold it back. This is a good indicator of, it’s one of the indicators, not all of the indicators, but one of the indicators of anger happening. We might see actually the forehead come down. The reason is that is if you then get into a fight blows glance off the head and away from the eyes. If you bring the forehead down, yeah?

Liane: Yeah.

Mark: You might see them start to expand and get bigger, yeah? As they start to try and take up more space. Or potentially you could see them start to tighten up, and get smaller as they try and contain it. But ultimately you’re gonna see some big changes, yeah? And one of them might trigger you to go, oh, they’re gonna blow.

Liane: Yeah. I love it.

Mark: This is a pressure that’s building up, that could get too big. Does that make sense?

Liane: Yeah, it makes great sense.

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