People with short temper tend to get angry on every small thing. Points that hurt their self-respect or situations where their expectations are not fulfilled are times when they get angry. They just find it difficult to control themselves. In such a situation, your approach should primarily focus on one thing; the idea that your action should not aggravate their anger.
Let us try to answer your question by taking up different scenarios wherein you could need to deal with such people.
Consider a situation where you need to talk to such a person who has already lost his/her temper:
If he is a close friend of yours, then you must try to calm him down for that moment. Avoid any conversation on the topic that made him angry. Ask him to cool down. Let him some time alone with himself. Later in the day, when he is a bit relaxed, speak to him. At that time, you need to make him realize that he needs to bring a change in himself. The approach in doing this should be such that he understands his mistake rather than thinking that you are there to criticize him. You can do this by taking up different scenarios and explaining him how he could have handled the situation with ease. There could be situations where your friend’s points are correct. In such a case, point out to him that he is right but also explain him a better way to deal with the situation.
There could be cases where the person with whom you are dealing with is a not so close but is someone who you are familiar with. Here, it will be difficult to just go ahead and start explaining him things. But in case he asks for help, then it would be a good chance for you to make him realize the facts. Also, if you have some work with him especially in a situation when he has lost his temper, then try to approach him for that work, and if he is not in a mood to answer or acknowledge, then simply move away for the time being and get back later.
Let us take this another scenario where such a person is in normal mood and you have to deal with him:
In this scenario, you are directly dealing with such a person one-on-one. Here, it is necessary that whatever discussions you both are engaged into pertaining to your work, take that discussion ahead in a manner that his positive points are given due consideration to and even your positive points are acknowledged appropriately. If he is wrong somewhere, then instead of forcing up your points explain him calmly. The words and the tone-of-voice you use here really matters a lot. For instance, you can tackle it in this way: “I agree with your idea but I feel that……” or”I feel your point is more valid in a situation wherein…….” and now explain your point of view with respect to that scenario.
Thus, you can deal with such a person in a smart way. Remember the fact that in such cases, your voice tone, your body language and the words that you use in conversing with a short tempered person makes a lot of difference. You cannot control his attitude, but you surely can control your own. Hence, work out smartly, be compassionate towards him. If it is possible then do help him work out on his temper positively.
You can check out my article on How to deal with your Anger? It could be helpful to him.