A Twitter post that whizzed through my stream read, “When addressing conflict with others, remind yourself — curious not furious.” It can be difficult to calmly and respectfully get to the bottom of an issue in the heat of battle. Our natural response is to put up our defenses and fight back.
To keep things from escalating, give the chemicals in your brain a chance to level off. When you sense battle lines being drawn between you and a co-worker, or a family member, take these steps.
- Take a deep breath, or several if necessary.
- Let them know this is not a good time for you to discuss this issue – which is true. You might not have another commitment, but if you’re emotional and agitated, this time is not the right time. Excuse yourself.
- Conflicts shouldn’t go unaddressed, so commit to a time to continue the discussion, only after you’ve been able to consider both sides.