Without a doubt conflict occurs in all human relationships. If handled badly, it can harm important connections we may have spent years building and developing, and at its worst it can have detrimental effects on our jobs, our reputation and even on our emotional and physical well-being.
When conflict is handled well, we can build bridges, solve problems and create strong bonds of trust and respect between each other.
Although conflict of interests, views, ideas, behaviour and culture are inherent in human interaction and always involve some risks and costs, the damage that occurs in conflict results not so much from the disagreement itself but from the strategy we use to deal with it.
So what can we do very simply when faced with a conflict?
Here are three quick RADA tips to get you started ...
Stop, Pause and Breathe
When someone says something that triggers a negative response or feeling from you - stop, pause for a moment and breathe slowly and deeply. This will give you time to calm and centre yourself so you can think more clearly before responding from that primitive, impulsive and reactionary place.
Be open-minded and listen
We all have a tendency to do one of two things when in conflict – blaming others or blaming ourselves. Instead, if you stay open and really listen to what is going on for the other person, you are less likely to get stuck into your story (however justified it may be) and begin the process of really connecting with that other person.
Find one thing you can empathise with
Whilst it is so easy to get caught up in the roller coaster of rights and wrongs or good and bad, if we focus on just one thing we can truly empathise with in the other person, we are already halfway on the road to success. It may be that they are frustrated at not being heard or included in decision-making process; it may be that they’re annoyed you set them a deadline they can’t meet. Just understanding the other person’s frustration will be enough to get you on that first step towards resolving that conflict.
Have a go and discover how you can begin to have a different perspective, awareness and approach the next time conflict arises in your workplace!