Conflict landmines are everywhere in the office â€“ especially a busy one which is a great breeding ground for potential disagreements. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure you survive your work week unscathed.
- Keep your cool
Staying calm in the face of an dangerously irritated boss or angry customer is the most important when a conflict arises. Take a deep breath, think of happy thoughts and resist getting angry.
- Get to the root of the problem
Donâ€™t lose focus of whatâ€™s causing the conflict. If a discussion is going in circles, try highlighting the issue is. Repeat the problem aloud to let your colleague know what you understand.
- Try thinking from the other personâ€™s shoes
Rather then become defensive, try looking at the issue from another point of view: could your client be having a bad day? Just because the other person is irrational doesnâ€™t mean you have to be, so empathise a little and you just might be able to prevent a full-blown conflict.
- Get a timeout
If you feel like you canâ€™t keep your emotions in check, donâ€™t be afraid to take a breather. Ask your boss if you can continue the discussion later or let your client know youâ€™ll find out more about the issue and call them back. This way youâ€™re giving the other person and yourself a time to cool off before getting back to find a solution.
- Move forward
After youâ€™ve both had a chance to make your point, shift the focus onto how you can prevent the problem from happening again. You may need to accept that you canâ€™t change what caused the conflict, but you can move on with a resolution.