Conflict is part of any relationship. Workplace conflicts are not much as different from any other aspect of your life. It’s an aspect of human nature. To solve conflicts faster within your work (and private) energy and to avoid lasting damage, I would suggest following these simple guidelines.
1. Place yourself first.
It’s not about expressing your opinion in a debate and not considering other’s opinions. If you begin your sentences using “You never” or “You never,” your coworker will instantly stop talking, and the chance of a resolution is nil. Instead, begin sentences by stating your emotions. “I am angry that I’m left cleaning the wrong spreadsheets Or “I’m angry that we cannot begin the meeting in time.” These are known as “I” messages. In a nutshell, firstly discuss your feelings and then explain the reason why you feel this way. If your teammate doesn’t think that they are being blamed, it allows dialogue and helps you find the solution.
2. Cut the tension.
If you feel that things are getting intense, make a “time for a time.” If you can, physically break off. If you’re in an informal meeting, you can table the discussion for a moment and then shift to a different agenda item. It is best to plan the time at which you’ve settled down and then discuss the subject again. The break will allow feelings to calm and enable participants to hear each other more objectively.
3. Don’t try to reverse time.
Instead of dwelling on past issues or hurts, think about what can you do from now and forward to improve things. Let’s take an example. Imagine that your teammate is always taking pens off your desk. If you require a pen, you can’t find one in the office. You’ve spoken to the person previously, but instead of mention how many instances this has occurred, you should respond by sending the “I” note… “I am extremely frustrated whenever I require an item to make an idea and discover they are all that I have borrowed.”
4. Do not call teammates names or insult them.
If you insult an individual’s character or make a mockery of someone else, the subject you are trying to talk about isn’t taken seriously… in the long run! What’s remembered is the verbal insult. This type of injury is hard to reverse because the recall of what you did can hinder their ability to talk about any topic that is important to them.
5. Be attentive to your colleague.
Make sure you are speaking in turn and take note of their opinions about the scenario. Do not just sit and think about your following reaction. Take the time to understand and listen to the teammate’s views or concerns are. When it’s your turn to address the issue, you’ll have a more precise understanding of the issue you need to tackle. Sometimes, when the problems are complex or have an emotional impact, it’s beneficial to repeat the information you have received. For instance, “So you’re saying that for as long as we continue to make use of the widget, we’ll never reach quota.” Or “You claim to be extremely angry that people keep absconding with the desk.”
6. Don’t forget to forgive when a colleague apologizes.
Make sure to acknowledge your part in the issue too. If you’ve expressed your opinions about a topic and your coworker acknowledges their involvement in the matter, take it off your plate and move on. Reliving past conflicts gradually creates a barrier in the relationship. If you realize that you are in the wrong, acknowledge that you are guilty. Resentment and anger that is carried on by one person will damage the relationship.
Implementing these six rules to “fair fighting,” particularly learning how to utilize “I” messages, can significantly enhance your ability to settle disputes with your team members promptly and without any lasting damage to your relationships or to the group.