There are a number of situations in life where we need to know how to handle conflict - in our workplace, at home, among friends, or in public. What you need to diffuse these heated moments is just some common sense and calm attitude, and you can control disastrous situations. People from all backgrounds get involved in conflicts sometimes, even when they don't want to. It is definitely a big asset to be able to control these situations before they turn catastrophic.
Top 10 Tips on How to Handle Conflict
Ask the Right Questions
A very important tip to know how to handle conflict is to ask the right questions at the right times. This is because conflicts usually arise due to miscommunication, i.e. when one party misunderstands what the other is saying. To resolve a conflict, therefore, requires resolving any miscommunication that has occurred by asking questions and creating the chance to talk things over.
Gain Some Perspective
Everyone has their own perspective from where they view a topic of discussion; these perspectives also happen to vary from person to person. If you only focus on your outlook of the matter, it can lead to conflict. So, if you want to understand how to handle conflict, you have to make yourself look at matters through others' point of view sometimes.
It is a very normal occurrence when two people view the same thing from two different viewpoints. To become involved in conflict because of something that comes naturally to a person is not a healthy attitude; rather, it is important that you learn to recognize and respect other people's perspective in order to know how to handle conflict in times of need.
Always Stay Calm
At moments of excitement, learn to always stay calm. Whether it is you who is involved in a conflict, or someone else around you, you need to be calm and thoughtful no matter how serious the situation. Keeping calm is how you can keep the situation under control and bring others to sense; on the other hand, if you too are keyed up and thoughtless, you might say or do something that would be hard to take back.
Evaluate Your Own Attitude
If you find yourself to get involved in a number of conflicts with almost everyone around you, perhaps it's you who is the problem, not everyone around you! Have you stopped to consider that? Sometimes, you need to evaluate yourself to see if you may be the cause of all the conflicts that you have been involved with. Are you always angry? Do you tend to always have your own way? Do you listen to others, or make decisions on your own? Perhaps all you need to handle the conflicts in your life is to bring some changes in yourself.
Learn Not to Overreact
There's barely any situation so serious that would require you to overreact and blow everything out of proportion. So, even when you are very, very angry at something, don't let your first reaction be negative and disproportionate to the matter. Reacting too strongly to a matter only makes it worse, so try not to overreact to someone else's viewpoint before giving it a little time in your mind.
Be as Flexible as You Can
You can be flexible at times and still come out victorious in a conflict. It's not necessary that you always remain determined and unmovable in your decisions, even when you are not 100% right or accurate. Being a little flexible and occasionally bending to the other person's ideas sometimes can help you handle the conflict in between and create a "win-win" situation for everyone.
Control Your Non-Verbal Language
It's not always what words you say that other people notice, but your non-verbal language too, i.e. your body language. You hand gestures, your eyes, facial expressions, voice and body posture are as much a part of your communication as your words and they may be sending the wrong message, much different to what you are saying. You might be speaking in a normal tone and with polite words, but your eyes might be challenging and taunting the other person in the conversation, causing a rift and leading towards a conflict. Therefore, it is important to be sure that your non-verbal language is in accordance with your words in order to avoid conflict.
Address the Real Problem
Sometimes, when we are angry, it's not the problem at hand that's the main dilemma, but some other physical discomfort, i.e. hunger, pain or exhaustion that makes us cagey and annoyed. It is better to address those problems first so that we have a clear head to handle the conflict.
Take Your Own Responsibility
No one likes to own up to the mistakes we make, and that's how conflicts occur sometimes. In a conflict, if something is your fault, don't waste time to take the responsibility of your own behavior. To say "Sorry" or "It was my fault" is not weakness; rather, it makes you the bigger person in a conflict. So, try and make sincere confessions in a conflict and you will be able to resolve it quickly.
Welcome Conflicts into Your Life
Most importantly, know that conflicts are an inevitable part of everyone's life. Conflicts don't always have to be bad, but sometimes they are a great way to clear misunderstandings and a way for the truth to come out. Everyone is unique and different, and this is a very important reason for conflict between people. So, rather than being afraid to face conflict, welcome it because it is unavoidable, and you will be able to handle it more effectively.