In the business world, it’s not uncommon to encounter conflict and disagreements. But how you’re handling conflict can say a lot about your professionalism and your personality. So how do you handle conflict, disagreements and arguments with grace and professionalism? Consider these tips for handling conflict from entrepreneur, CEO and businessman Scott Binsack.
Handling Conflict: Don’t Get Personal
An easy way to ruin your relationship with others is to get personal during a disagreement or conflict. Don’t make it about the other person; make it about the issue at hand, whether it was an incident, someone’s behavior, someone’s actions (or lack thereof) or a situation as a whole.
It’s easy to attack another person in a personal and hurtful way. These remarks can linger and hurt long after the disagreement is over, so you want to avoid this at all costs.
Handling Conflict: Make “I” Statements
It’s easy to start attacking others during a disagreement or conflict. But if you come at another person with accusations such as “You always do X”, it places the other person on the defensive, which immediately escalates the situation.
So instead of making statements that start with “you,” focus on statements that start with “I”. Instead of saying “You always do X”, opt for something like “It upsets me when you do X because…”
Handling Conflict: Focus on a Solution
Don’t argue or enter into conflicts just for the sake of arguing. Every argument or disagreement should serve a purpose: to help you arrive at a solution to a problem or a situation that you can both live with.
So focus on this goal while arguing or engaging in a conflict. Work to resolve the problem at hand and arrive at a conclusion that is amenable to all involved.
Handling Conflict: Allow the Other Person to Speak Uninterrupted
In the heat of a conflict, it’s easy to interrupt others in an attempt to be heard. But when you’re both talking over each other, nobody is heard and the situation cannot possibly come to a resolution.
So make it a point to allow the other person to state their case without interruption. If the other person attempts to interrupt you, simply state something to the effect of, “I allowed you to speak uninterrupted. I would appreciate it if you would do the same for me.”
If the other person refuses to allow you to speak uninterrupted, then you may need to move on to the next tip.
Handling Conflict: Walk Away if Necessary
When it comes to arguing or handling conflict in a civil, professional manner, it’s important to know when to walk away. There may come a point where you or the other party are simply too upset, angry and emotional to work through the issue. At this point, continued engagement becomes unproductive and the conflict may only serve to worsen the problem.
So if anger and emotions have reached a high point, walk away and revisit the problem when you’re both calm. State something like “I can see we’re both very upset and I don’t think we’re going to solve anything right now. So let’s step away for a bit and revisit this once we’ve both calmed.”
With these tips from entrepreneur and CEO “Scott Binsack”, you’ll be well on your way to reaching a solution in a professional and civil manner the next time you’re involved in a conflict or disagreement.