Communication is all about bringing people together and understanding each other. With so many different people and personalities in our workplace, it’s no wonder there’s sometimes conflict. If conflict is not handled constructively and positively, the results could be very damaging. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Here are some tips to help you when conflict arises:
- Don’t let anger control you. Reacting on negative emotions is the worse thing you can do. Before you do anything stop, take a deep breath, and think.
- Acknowledge the conflict. If there is a problem, don’t pretend there isn’t.
- Don’t gossip. Whether it is your issue or others, this will only lead to further conflict.
- Talk directly to the person you need to talk with. Not by email or text, but face to face. Keep others out of it, unless a mutual trusted mediator is needed.
- When you are prepared to discuss the problem, come with solutions.
- Try to understand the other person. Put yourself in their shoes and remember to be respectful.
- Use your active listening skills. Put your focus firmly on the person speaking, engaging and encouraging the speaker to voice his or her views.
- Keep your emotions in track. Share your thoughts and feelings, but do not get overwhelmed or lose your cool.
- Check for understanding. When it is your turn to speak, make sure you are clear and that the listener understands what you are trying to say.
- Keep the lines of communication open and keep an open mind. Conflicts are an opportunity to learn great lessons.
Communication is our lifeblood. As with every other endeavour, the more you put into it, the more you will get back.
Remember: You listen. You talk. Things change.