From time to time, disagreement are not only inevitable, but a natural dynamic between people. Left unresolved, these disagreements and conflicts can waste enormous amounts of time, energy and employee’s productivity. Unresolved disagreements can lead to conflict at work. Successfully resolving workplace disputes ultimately results in greater mutual respect and a more positive coworker’s relationship. To avoid conflict at work, it is important to learn to express opinions in ways that allow for acceptance and agreeable outcomes.
Follow the rules below and you will be assertive without becoming aggressive and causing resentment, or being passive and surrendering your point of view.
6 Rules to Avoid Conflict
- Give others the benefit of the doubt. To avoid conflict at work, think about the other person’s experiences, personal influences or even how they were raised.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. After giving someone the benefit of the doubt, listen to learn and truly understand why this person holds this belief.
- Respond using “I” statements only. Beginning with “you” seems blaming and confrontational, and it immediately puts the other person on the defense. This reduces the chance of your point of view being heard.
- Use a cushion. Connect or “cushion” a different opinion, starting with “I hear what you’re saying…” or “I appreciate your view on…” Remember to start with the word “I” and not “you” or it will sound confrontational.
- Eliminate the word “but” or “however”. After cushioning the other person’s opinion, use “and”, or a short pause. Acknowledging the individual’s point of view followed by a “but” or “however” erases the acknowledgment.
- State your point of view with relevant and factual evidence. Evidence defeats doubt so provide examples or statics to support your point of view. Provide the evidence immediately after the cushion followed by “therefore, I think…” or “This shows that…”
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