It’s bound to happen. Sooner or later you’ll be caught off guard – finding yourself smack dab in the middle of an unexpected conflict with someone on your team. You’re in it before you know it, and there’s no time for formulating a well-thought-out resolution strategy. You’ve got to respond in some way, and you have to do it NOW! What do you do? How can you keep the situation from escalating and ending up some-where you DON’T want to be? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Stop, breath, and think. Stop whatever you’re doing, take a couple of deep breaths to control your tension, and then immediately (and quickly) think about exactly what you need to do and say next.
2. Acknowledge the conflict by saying something like: Michael, I’m sensing that there are some issues between the two of us that we need to talk through, or, Kim, I’m feeling that I might have done something to upset you. Can we talk about it?
3. Buy some time. Suggest that you meet at a later time that day (or the following day) so that you both have an opportunity to relax a little and gather your thoughts. If the other person agrees, use the time to prepare for the meeting. If the person doesn’t agree on a time delay …
4. Take it somewhere else (if other coworkers are present). That way, you’ll avoid disrupting the rest of the group – and you’ll eliminate any temptations you and the other person might have to “showboat” or maintain some bogus image in front of your teammates. Suggest a different venue with words such as: It’s best for everyone if we keep this just between us. Where else would you feel comfortable talking?
5. Keep it respectful. Do your absolute best to conduct yourself in a calm and respectful manner – regardless of how the other person responds. Will it be easy? Of course not! But that doesn’t change the fact that although you can’t control what others do, you certainly can (and do) control your own behavior.
Today’s solution is from What to Do When CONFLICT HAPPENSBy Eric Harvey & Steve VenturaFor more information on this resource and other high-impact WALK THE TALK publications, please click here to learn more.