If you’re trying to turn a conflict into collaboration, anger has no place in the conversation. Of course, you can get angry in a conflict but you have to make sure that your anger isn’t influencing your reaction to the disagreement. Also, you need to make sure that your anger isn’t keeping you from analyzing the situation objectively.
In order not to allow anger to ruin your chances of handling conflict effectively it’s best to say as little as possible. This is because if anger is allowed to grow, it will poison the situation. If you begin to feel too angry during discussion, try to slow the conversation down. Tell the other party that you want to take some time to consider their position. And actually, try to do it. If you step away from the situation and look at it objectively, it will be easier for you to address it when you talk to the other person again.
If it’s the other person who is angry, it’s best to let them get it all out. Let them vent and make sure you are listening to what they are saying. The key here is to listen to understand, not to formulate a better argument.
When you put forth effort to understand the other person’s position, it does two things:
- It helps you identify solutions to the conflict.
- It sends the message that you care about what the other person is saying. This will get them to lower their guard.
Sometimes, taking the time to listen is all that is needed to handle disagreements at work and solve the conflict. The other person may not know it, but their venting may be giving you what you need to solve the problem in a way that benefits you both.