Got Stress? Tips to Handle Conflict for a Win/Win
In a time when the stress layers keep adding up all around us and opinions and feelings are on high alert, it’s good to know how to deal with conflict. Whenever you are triggered (at home, on zoom at work), having a good set of tools can help you calmly and rationally approach a problem. Some thoughts are outlined below.
When you are dealing with conflict:
Focus on the situation, not the person. It’s far too easy for us to judge a person based on their words and emotions. Focus on listening to their message to understand why they are frustrated. Get to the heart of the matter and start there.
Keep the relationship constructive. Don’t give in to anger or frustration. There is nothing worse than two emotional people who keep piling on, getting louder and louder with each harsh verbal statement. Be the bigger person and pull yourself back down to earth to focus. Then bring the other person back down with you.
Propose a plan you can both accept. There are many strategies in the world of negotiation. Lose/Lose doesn’t help either party and happens when there is a refusal to compromise. In Lose/Win, you are taking an accommodating stance, used if you can afford to give in on a small issue. Win/Lose asserts your authority over another for your/your team’s best interests but can damage relationships. Finally, Win/Win is the ultimate collaborative solution. You both agree on an acceptable solution, based on trust and a mutual benefit.
To strive for Win/Win, there are several techniques to use.
Handle emotions. Keep a lid on your own and help the other person do the same. Again, when we get emotionally heated, we can become irrational and it’s too hard to see clearly.
Suggest solutions, other ideas. Be creative here, don’t just hold your own ground. Think broader and include your partner in the ideation. You may come up with something completely different that satisfies both parties.
Follow up. Don’t celebrate just yet… you did the hard work to find a mutual solution; now ensure you follow up with next steps to move that plan to action.
It can be scary and stressful when emotions run high. If you keep some of these tips in mind, you may save yourself additional aggravation and instead, work toward a strong partnership. Breathe and focus.