Keeping a cool head during conflict can sometimes be difficult. Especially when it is perceived as or becomes personal. If you think there is a good chance there could be unhealthy conflict, here are a few basic tips that have worked for me.
1. Prepare. Think of every question that could be asked and your response to that question. Rehearse your responses out-loud. Rehearsing will help your confidence and calm nerves.
2. Stay relaxed. Keep your own voice calm and steady. Raising your voice will increase the chances of the conflict escalating. Once the conflict reaches this level you will have lost control, which will increase the likelihood that the issue will not be resolved at that moment.
3. Actively listen. Seek to understand first, and then to be understood. Really listen with an open heart. Genuinely consider the others point of view. Ask questions to clarify to ensure you understand.
4. Be firm. Restate what you heard, clear up any misunderstandings, and then stick to your guns. If something makes sense during the conflict, then of course, re-look at your position. However, don’t become wimpy either. Being firm is probably one of the most difficult things to do during a conflict, especially when you are really trying to be reasonable.
No matter how you cut it, conflict is difficult. Most people either avoid it or seem to enjoy it (which might be worse than avoiding it). But it is part of leadership.
Do you have other tips for handling conflict that could help our blogging audience? Please share them by commenting below so each of us can benefit by your ideas. Thank you.
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