Conflict management, whether at home, out in the street or in the workplace, takes considerable time and effort to master with any hope of competency.
It takes a keen eye to recognize subtle aspects of human psychology at play, it takes an iron constitution to minimize your own emotional responses to rising tensions and upsetting occurrences, and it takes a level head to guide yourself and the aggrieved person toward an equitable resolution. Here are four effective approaches to consider in your quest to master conflict management.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
The best conflict management approach to take on during fights and other conflict that arises is to remain calm at all costs. Nothing is served by responding in kind to the other person’s contentions, and such incidents will quickly spiral out of your control. Mastering your emotions takes practice, and preparation, and considerable mental focus on your part, especially in the face of rising tensions and possible insults and anger from another person.
DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL
Whatever the conflict, the most crucial approach to resolving conflict is to keep whatever the problem is confined to the problem itself, and never make it personal. Never allow the conflict to devolve into insults and personal attacks or character assassination.
Conflict is often a very short-term, explosive affair, but you will likely have a relationship with the other person long after it is over. Don’t make it worse by allowing you or the other person to make a conflict about the personal rather than the problem that started it in the first place. Keep the problem and person separated when you communicate.
ALWAYS BE COURTEOUS
No matter how hot under the collar you get, no matter how high tensions rise, always be courteous to the other person, always treat them respectfully, even if that respect is not reciprocated. Often simple courtesy will go a long way to diffusing tense and angry situations, and help all people concerned to come down, walk back their tensions, and allow everyone a moment to breathe and analyze the situation.
GIVE THE OTHER PERSON TIME AND SPACE IF THEY NEED IT
If the person who has a problem insists on making a huge conflict out of the issue and it seems they need to blow off some steam, or if they need a little time to themselves to decompress or to mentally regroup, it is absolutely crucial that you allow them to do so. This is the most effective way to resolve conflict as it allows everyone to calm down and try to figure out the best way forward to conflict resolution.
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