We have all been there. Your heart is beating. You can’t think straight. Someone has upset you. Your blood may be boiling but you can’t yell or scream or hit anything. In the workplace (and everywhere else) conflict must be handled in a smart, calm, civilized way. You can do this.
First STOP and take a deep breath. Then do 4 things.
1. Listen to what the other person is saying. Strip away negative tone and negative words to get to the heart of their issue or message.
2. Take time to cool off and think. Figure out what you need to do to think straight. You may need to take a deep breath, go for a jog, listen to your favorite song or talk to someone before you react. But being able to distract your mind for even a moment is key.
3. Look at all your peaceful options. You may need to say something. Or maybe you need to do something. Either way, examine your next step before taking it. Ask yourself “It is a smart move?”
4. Remember problems and people are separate. Take the issue/problem and look at it. For example, a person’s behavior may be what is bothering you. So “attack” the behavior, not the person. Talk about the behavior as if it is separate from the person to start a non - confrontational discussion about it.
Dr. Gail Shapiro is a Conflict Resolution Practitioner. She coaches people through conflict and helps them peacefully problem solve in order to avoid loss and litigation. Make an appointment with her today. You can discuss moving on and using the energy from a conflict in a more positive and productive way! www.connecticutmediation.com 203 247 3056.
(Image from Mindfulmuseum Instagram account. By, Jackson Pollock, One #31, at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. #MOMA)