Working with other people, whether in an office or remotely, doesn’t always run smoothly. Not everyone thinks the same way, communicates the same way, and works the same way. Obviously, people will clash sooner or later. If you’re not careful, small misunderstandings can balloon to something that can only be solved in th “principal’s office”. This doesn’t just jeopardize your reputation in the office but also your career. (yes, that’s why background checks are done.) As an adult, you need to learn how to deal with conflict, In a nutshell, just.keep.your.cool.
Here are the things you can do to keep your cool when heated situations arise!
Delivery is everything
When you’re in a heated argument, emotions get in the way of 2 things: 1. clearly understanding what has been said and 2. responding in a good manner. Remember, your intentions might be good, but if it’s not said in a gentle manner, it will be misunderstood and can further lead to a deeper problem. Watch your words and pause to internalize properly delivery. It can save both parties a trip to the principal’s office.
Assess and let go
Take a moment to examine the situation– how it started, the people at fault, the root of the problem, etc. Will this particular situation matter a year from now? Most probably the answer is no. And since the answer is no, it’s best to just let it go.
Dwell on the solution, not the problem
One of the things I learned when I worked for an American company is that they don’t dwell on the personal, subjective aspect of the problem. They tackle the problem as a problem because you know what, sh** happens. You just have to accept that plans don’t always go your way. Instead, they think hard about the solution because ultimately, that will help everyone move forward. Mindblowing, I know.
Type it out, but don’t send it!
One of the best ways I deal with stick situations is by typing it out as if I’m confronting the person(s)–telling him or her the situation and how it hurt me, how it jeopardizes my work, how it can potentially affect me in the future, etc. I type it all out but I don’t send it. I merely let it sit in my drafts and read it after my head cools down. If my feelings are still there maybe I need to talk to the person for a professional discussion about the situation, if the feelings are gone, I delete the email.
Vent out to a trusted friend
Dealing with hard situations in the workplace can really bring down your spirits. Find a trusted friend in the workplace or one of your best friends and talk to them about it. Keep in mind that you don’t want them to take sides, you want them to listen and give you a shoulder to cry on or a good ‘ol hug.
Learn to separate work life from personal life
Sadly, I’ve encountered some workplaces and employees that take these “clashes” personally, and it’s very vital that you don’t spiral down the same way. Work is work. When you’re at work you’re stepping into a role and everything that goes with it–you have to play the part. Once work ends, you should learn how to separate your work self from your actual self, this, I think is the mindset you should have.
Bonus: Get a dose of self-care when you get home
Nothing beats a good long bath to literally and figuratively keep you cool. Personally, I found that a shampoo like Head & Shoulders (they have 3 new, limited edition refreshing scents for summer) can do wonders for both your hair and your scalp. Lighting candles can also soothe and calm you down, plus it has a great scent! A good 15-minute meditation can also clear your head and your mind. Lastly, eating your favorite comfort food can give you happy hormones and fight the feeling of anger and sadness. I vote for ice cream.
Did you experience conflict at work? How did you deal with it?