Conflict is going to arise in every situation, including at work. Now, there are things you can do to lower the possibility of conflict, but chances are you will experience it at some point. In today’s blog post, I want to share with you some ways you can handle it properly and professionally. I want to start us off with a guiding Scripture that I think will put this all in perspective for us. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” As we go through the principles listed below, I want you to keep this Scripture in mind.
How to Professionally Handle Conflict
Consider the Facts
When you are faced with conflict, the first thing I want you to do is consider the facts. What is the root cause of the conflict? Oftentimes, what people say they’re upset about is actually just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Consider the relationship you have with this person. Do you interact often? Might you have said or done something in the past to upset them that hasn’t been resolved? When we start from a place of honesty and clarity, we can move of to resolving the conflict properly.
Patience is a Virtue
My biggest piece of advice when in conflict is to take a breath. Never do or say anything out emotion. If you need to take a second and separate yourself from the situation, let the other party know. It will benefit both of you! Anger softens over time, so if you revisit the conflict 2o minutes later, you might find that the other person has calmed down and really isn’t all that upset anymore. From this place, and only this place, can you have a proper, professional conversation to resolve conflict.
Leave Nothing Unsaid
We all know that bottling up emotions lead to explosions. As I said above, conflict often arises from unresolved annoyances and frustrations. Once you and the other party are in a calm frame of mind, I encourage you both to spell out your frustrations. If you don’t bring up the things that frustrated you in the first place, you’re just going to end up in conflict again later. You may have to make adjustments to how you speak and deal with the other person and that’s okay! You act differently with your child than with your boss, right? The same principle applies here.
Once you understand the problem, both parties have hashed everything out, and you both know how to make adjustments to your behavior, it’s time to move on! Holding grudges is like drinking poison and hoping it hurts the other person. If you have handled your conflict properly, you should be able to move on from here.
What are your top tips for handling conflict in the workplace? Let me know in the comments below! You can learn more about conflict resolution in my new book, Leadership Mastery!