Keep your Cool in Conflict

2 Minute Read

Have you been in the middle of a conversation or meeting and started to feel your blood boil?  That vein in your neck starting to bulge.  Your face turning a little red. What do you do when this happens?  Do you immediately look for a quick getaway? Do you quit listening because you are too busy thinking of a great comeback? How do you keep your cool?

Whatever your response, likely, you are uncomfortable and stressed. There has to be a better approach, right?  There are steps to minimizing your stress.  Steps that will improve the outcome as well.

Recognize the signs.  Are you only focused on winning the argument?  Potentially at the expense of others or the organization.  You have a “win at all costs” attitude.  Your work, knowledge, or expertise has been challenged.  You are defensive. Thinking irrationally.  Not trusting others.

A better approach…

First, take a deep breath and focus on lowering your tone of voice.  You will feel calmer which, in turn, helps others become calmer.

Second, change YOUR viewpoint, consider the following thoughts before speaking.  What can I learn from this conversation? I believe he/she has good intentions and wants to do the right thing – just like me.  The thoughts in our head drive our body language and our actions.  Making assumptions about another person’s intentions leads to misunderstanding.

Third, seek to understand the other person’s viewpoint.  Ask good questions…Help me understand…Tell me more about this…etc.

Listen – without interrupting and turn off the little voice in your head! And once you have a better understanding – focus on common goals and how to achieve those together.

Don’t wait until you are in the middle of conflict.  Practice now.  Remember, the ultimate goal is to foster collaboration.  Build trust. Find solutions.

Want to learn how to keep your cool more often? Click Here!