Workplace politics right? Differences of opinions with friends or family?

I am sure plenty of you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Either from your own experiences (most likely) and through others (also likely). Something that we can all agree with is that conflict will occur throughout our lives and will pretty much never go away when dealing with people. Someone will always have an opinion that doesn’t agree with yours or a very different point of view (POV). Maybe someone disagrees with your idea and won’t let it go. We are all unique with very different thoughts and feelings, values, and belief systems. Whatever the case conflict is here to stay and it is up to YOU to sharpen your skills in order to effectively MANAGE conflict.

“To handle conflict effectively, challenge yourself to think in new ways that are just outside your comfort zone.”

A lot of the time, below are just a few reasons why people avoid conflict:

  1. you don’t want to get in the middle of it
  2. you don’t know what to say
  3. you don’t want anyone to be upset with you
  4. you’re not their supervisor/manager
  5. you’re afraid your approach will be considered too “tough”

More often than not, we lack a level of confidence in our ability to manage the other persons’ responses and this can be uncomfortable. Conflict can be very healthy and a great opportunity to practice your assertiveness skills. The best place to start with conflict is through self-awareness. Think about how you usually handle conflict, are you usually passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive? The goal is to handle conflict and interpersonal relationships with assertiveness.

For example, do you normally feel angry when confronting conflict? Instead, think about feeling energized to take action. Do you normally avoid conflict and see it as a negative means to communicate? Instead, think of it as healthy communication and an opportunity to see the differences of your team members and or family/friends before things escalate.

After each conflict, think about what went well and what needs improvement. Maybe even write it out in a journal to help you reflect and refer back to for your future self. Managing conflict and assertiveness takes time and practice, much like anything else.

Are you experiencing a conflict situation at work or with friends and unsure how to deal with it? Feel free to comment on my blog or contact me via email,  I’d love to help!

-Sonia

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