There will forever be conflict in this world. If you think about it, our country was built on it. A true tell of character is how one handles these conflicts when they arise.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned on how to handle the conflict that may arise while in the workplace; fortunately, these tips can apply to issues in your personal life too!
Tips to effectively handle conflict in the workplace and beyond:
BREATHE: Most likely the issue isn’t as large as it seems in the moment. The world isn’t going to end and you will make it through to the other side. Take a deep breathe and gain composure. Try your best to remove emotion from the equation. This will help you to be level headed and hopefully clear your mind, so that you have the ability to effectively handle the situation.
TAKE A STEP BACK: Evaluate the situation with your eyes wide open. Look at the issue from multiple angles. Ask yourself: Why is this an issue? Is this a personal issue or something that could be detrimental to the company? How can I address this respectfully? What’s the best way to resolve this issue?
THINK: Brainstorm ways on how YOU can make the situation better. Many times we’ll wait for someone else to handle the problem or might believe other people are aware of the issue, often times this is not the case. Always remember that change starts with you. Maybe it’s having a direct conversation with a coworker, or changing your view or attitude towards the situation. I’ve been taught that when you bring a problem to the table it’s best to also bring along a solution.
ACT: It’s time to put your plan into motion. Always approach others with dignity and respect (think: the golden rule). Use ‘I’ whenever possible and ‘you’ as little as possible. Using ‘I’ will help the other person understand your perspective of the situation and how you feel. Have your ears wide open. It’s beneficial to be able to listen to and respect other’s points of view. Check out this article talking about the difference between hearing and listening.
MOVE: Just as much as it’s important to handle conflict as soon as it arises, it’s equally important to know when to move on. Try not to dwell on the issue or allow it to drag on once it has been discussed or resolved. No one likes to live in the past; the faster everyone moves forward the better working environment that can be fostered.
Although conflict can be difficult, it’s sometimes necessary for us to grow professionally and personally. So next time you feel a conflict creeping up, don’t run away, face it with these helpful tips and any tricks you may learn along the way!