Berger Leadership Blog

Sep 15, 2017

7 ways to respond to workplace conflict

Boxing_glovesConflict in the workplace is inevitable. Drama is sure to abound when meeting tight deadlines or dealing with strong personalities.

Since these situations are unavoidable, it is important to have the correct mindset when responding. Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, recently listed seven ways to respond to workplace conflict with emotional intelligence. His list includes:

1. Get perspective. Don't come to any conclusion immediately; instead, listen to all involved parties first.

2. Take a six-second pause. Six seconds? Schwantes explains that "the chemicals of emotion inside our brains and bodies usually last about six seconds."

3. Stay humble. Extend compassion.

4. Try empathy. Tap into others' feelings - going a step further than just hearing their side of the story.

5. Ask the most conflict-diffusing question: "Are you OK?" If the conflict is directed at you, ask the other person what's going on and if they are OK.

6. Speak from your authentic self. This means if you made a mistake, admit it.

7. Be the first to reach out after conflict. Sometimes this means apologizing first.

Schwantes says that the "path to managing conflict is choosing to respond, rather than react."

Any kind of conflict -“ whether you're directly involved or not -“ requires exercising a lot of patience. These tips will help all of us effectively handle these kinds of tough situations. Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).