No matter which line of work you are in, everyone gets frustrated in their job at times. If you’re not careful, that frustration can get you in multitudes of conflict with your colleagues. Thankfully, there are tactics that can be used to manage anger and resolve workplace disagreements without having a fight.
1. Take a deep breath.
The worst mistake you can make in a workplace conflict is to lose your temper and exchange angry shouts that you’ll regret later. When you start to feel angry at work, take a few deep breaths and walk away for a moment so that you give immediate feelings and reactions time to wear off. Make an excuse to step outside the office and grab coffee or run a quick errand. Think the situation through, and consider the consequences of losing your temper. Once you’ve set aside strong emotions, you’ll be more objective and can project a professional demeanor.
2. Let all parties speak.
When conflict arises, don’t use aggressive verbal attacks to silent your opponent. It won’t lead to a mature discussion and won’t score you any credibility as a tactful professional. Refusing to consider the situation from your colleague’s point of view never leads to a lasting solution. Instead, let your coworker speak about the issues that really matter to them and try to learn something from the situation. Your ears are the best tool to resolve conflict quickly without anxiety.
3. Pick your battles.
If there’s tension between you and a colleague, you’re more tempted to become defensive whenever you’re forced to interact with that person. It’s important to refrain from picking fights every time you have a difference of opinion. Doing so will only generate a sense of hostility and make it more difficult for any work to get completed. If you choose your battles wisely and make compromises on trivial matters, you’ll be more likely to win on the issues that do matter to you.
4. Use business-like language.
Think carefully before you speak in a heated argument. It’s easy to slip up and make personal attacks at the coworker you’re in disagreement with. Just remember, if you say something mean you can’t take it back, and it’ll make you look worse than it does them. Using judgmental language will automatically put the other person in defensive mode, and using sarcasm often generates resentment. Try to remain objective and professional.
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