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handling disagreements with people

Here are her tips on how to approach a disagreement, find a solution and get past it.

1. Identify your conflict style
Knowing how you typically deal with disagreements will help you identify how you might want to approach conflict differently in the future.

“There are five different ways of dealing with conflict: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding and accommodating,” says Coltsmann. “The truth is, there are no right or wrong ways. It depends on the situation and an individual’s skills in using one of the conflict modes.”

2. Think about your past disagreements
When you find yourself in a disagreement, do you usually try to talk the problem out with the other party in hopes of finding a solution? Or do you tend to let the other person have his or her way if it will mean avoiding further conflict?

“If you find yourself relying on one mode continuously, it’s important to try to learn about some different approaches,” explains Coltsmann. “Changing behaviour is not the easiest, but you can learn new skills through a process of awareness and practice.”

Listen to what your gut is telling you — your first instinct is usually right. Allow your instinct to be the voice that guides your next steps.

3. Step away from the situation for awhile
In order to respond to a disagreement with a level head, you may need to remove yourself from the conflict so you can consider your options in peace. It’s important to approach the situation as if it is a problem that needs to be solved, rather than something to get angry about.

“The most important step in any disagreement or conflict situation is to create a shared understanding of what’s going on, bringing the views, ideas and opinions of everyone out into the open,” says Coltsmann. “It’s time to gather facts, verify assumptions and seek clarification — and, most importantly, it’s time to suspend judgment.”