Our response to conflict can sometimes be seen as a circular pattern – a trigger event happens, followed by one person’s negative, confrontational response, which then prompts a similarly negative response from the other person…and on and on. What if, instead of falling into this cycle of conflict when a trigger event occurs, we, instead, had the training that would enable us to make a better choice of how to respond, breaking the cycle altogether? A conflict resolution video can teach your team how to productively respond to conflict when it occurs with effective stages of conflict management.
Events that trigger conflict at work can vary widely, from body language that one person interprets as angry or offensive, to a co-worker verbally attacking you for how you submitted a project. While some people’s reaction to that trigger event might be to clam up or run away, often people will fight back: they’ll respond emotionally and defensively.
The first of the stages of conflict management is to step back and get some perspective. Do not respond to the trigger event immediately; instead, force yourself to take a deep breath, ask to speak about the issue later, or ask to move to a more private location to talk. All these things will allow you a few moments to calm your body and gain some perspective on the situation.
Next, endeavor to control your emotions. This is easier said than done when you’re upset by another person’s words or actions, but it is vital to turning the conversation into a productive one, capable of a constructive outcome. One way of controlling your emotions is to depersonalize the comments that have been made. Another tip to keep in mind is to give the other person the benefit of the doubt – don’t assume he or she is mean, or is out to get you personally; instead, perhaps they don’t have all the information, or are having a particularly bad day. Taking a moment to rein in your own anger, fear or anxiety helps you respond more constructively and also helps the OTHER person remain calm.
Lastly, imagine, and then take action to create, a successful outcome. When planning your responses to the other person, envision a response that respects the other person, while focusing on solving the issue. Ask clarifying questions, and even try to empathize with the other person (“It seems like you’re upset…”). Then clarify aloud what both of your goals are in this situation. While staying calm and respectful, try to find a way to meet his or her goals as well as your own.
A conflict resolution video can be invaluable for demonstrating relatable workplace conflict scenarios and providing good behavior modeling for how to effectively work through the stages of conflict management. Conflict Clock: Taking T.I.M.E. to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace is designed to help employees, leaders & teams respond to workplace conflict by teaching four strategies to help participants break old & negative response habits.