Sometimes we can be defensive towards critics in a work place for the sole reason that they have that capacity of disrupting our emotions, our normal behavior or worse our productivity. A simple heated argument during a meeting or during a random inquiry could have bad effect in our self-esteem. It could have a great impact in our work relationship or even our career. That’s the reason why it is so important to be able to develop proper management skills while dealing with situations of conflict.
Self-control and keeping your cool are the keys
Taking control of your emotions are the main skills that are needed to be developed in your work relationships and especially in tense situations. We must keep our cool in any circumstance. Remember that you are in control of a situation when you succeeded in controlling yourself. Those are the main reasons why we suggest that you use different techniques such as breathing control, meditation, visualizing. When you are in a situation of conflict, the first thing you need to do it to be stable emotionally, mentally and physically, you must take your mind to another space.
Be capable of spotting criticism and responding to it
Here are 3 situations to help you give the appropriate answers:
When you know that you were wrong and that they had every right to criticize you
- Accept the other person’s perception, you can also express yours.
- If you recognize that you were wrong just apologize.
- If you believe that you didn’t make a mistake then walk that person into your reasoning to get them to understand your perception.
- Do not hesitate to tell the real reason that made you act a certain way.
- Agree to disagree when the person you are talking to is not opened to a resolution.
When you were wrongfully accused and did not deserve the criticisms
Here are different ways to express yourself:
- Basic assertiveness: “There must have been a misunderstanding because I did not…”
- Empathetic assertiveness: “I understand your frustration, however I did not…”
- Gradual assertiveness: “I understand you are appalled, but once again I did not…”
- Confrontation assertiveness: “I made it clear several times, already that I did not act the way you say I acted. I suggest we …”
You can politely ask your colleague to consider other possibilities. You can also agree to schedule a meeting in the days to come where both parties can sit down and talk.
“ I, too would have been very irritated if one of my colleague had made that mistake. I think we need to go back to the roots of this misunderstanding because I can assure you that I did not make that mistake. It is frustrated enough to be accused of lying. I suggest we talk about it on Monday, once we both took some time to think about it and find out what really happened.
- When it is confusing: You do not know that they are talking about.
“your file is pathetic”, “you acted very weird at the meeting”, “you are a despicable selfish person”, “Am I disrupting you?”? “I am tired of working with you, they need to take me to another office”.
Those are some negative comments that can affect you and crush your soul however we have some solutions:
- Ask for some precisions: “I need to have more information about the changes you want me to make.”, “what do you call acting weird at the meeting?”, “what makes you say that? »,» at what particular time did I act like a selfish person”, “I can see that you are upset with me so what did I do to make you feel that way?”
- Do not be afraid to give critics if the person you are talking to is evasive.
“I am aware that my behavior is far from perfect, but I do not see how we could have a better relationship if I do not have clear indications of what you dislike about me. I, now feel very uneasy about the lack of clarity in your answers because it makes the situation even more confusing and uncomfortable in both ends.”
- Conclude with the realization that there has been a misunderstanding or a disagreement and made it clear that we can take a different approach to deal with the situation.
Do’s and Don’ts in a heated argument
- Do not speak too much. Listen and rephrase. Silent is gold, use it as a weapon.
- Be brief, do not go round in circles, and make the situation progress.
- Be polite, it can’t hurt you.
- Do not justify your behavior but clarify it.
- If you are wrong, do not feel guilty, everybody makes mistakes.
- Be discreet and classy: you do not need to let everybody in the office know about what happened. Chit chatting is very tempting however it is to avoid.
- To conclude if the other party admit to its mistake and apologize, let it go, you do not need to make the situation worse. Happy endings are always the best.
You are now ready to handle any conflict in your work place.