When tempers flare at the office, we often say things we regret later. Talk about your shared interests in solving the conflict and potentially prevent the conflict from escalating. The Harvard Business Review advises keeping emotions out of a discussion. Even if your colleague says they are angry or disappointed, hold back from starting the discussion that way.
Photo by herval.
When you open with negative emotions, you're virtually guaranteed to enter the conflict spiral. So you had better know how to break it. Try not reciprocating. Instead of threatening back or making your own claim to fairness, focus on interests -- what you and your counterpart actually want from the situation and why. You might say something like: "Help me understand why this is such a problem." By getting at the underlying issues, you can remain rational and hopefully defuse your colleague's anger.
In a work environment, you have a shared interest in doing your job well. You may not like the person and you may not agree with them, but keeping the emotions out of the discussion makes it easier to solve the problem.
Hit the link for other ideas on diffusing workplace conflicts.
When and How to Let a Conflict Go [Harvard Business Review]