Based on all the comments on my recent article Dealing With Difficult People, I realized that dealing with conflict is not only a fact of everyday life, but also takes many varied forms.
Here are the top 10 suggestions and reminders I received that were particularly insightful and helpful:
- Realizing we are all “difficult” at times and we never know what else is going on in someone’s life at any given time.
- Recognizing and owning your own role in a difficult situation gets you further faster.
- Sharing ownership for finding a solution may avoid difficulty.
- Helping people feel safe when they may be vulnerable.
- Remembering to keep challenging interactions in a private space.
- Acknowledging there are people who enjoy creating drama, chaos and disruption; there are people who choose to be miserable; establishing boundaries to limit your exposure whenever possible.
- Demonstrating patience and non-judgment in difficult situations.
- Distinguishing whether the person is being deliberately difficult or having a difficult time herself? What are the motives or reasons behind the behavior?
- Dealing with difficulties as soon as possible and in a straightforward, yet respectful, manner. Keep it professional, not personal.
- Asking yourself “do you want to be right or do you want to be effective?” How can you work with others to get to the best result?
Dealing with conflict is clearly a challenge for many of us in our work and in our lives. And our responses run the gamut from dealing with it quickly to avoiding it at all costs.
For business leaders, unless you are working with your team on a regular basis to use conflict to your advantage, it can end up eating up much of your time while you play mediator among the warring factions.
In my next article, I will provide some guidelines for turning conflict from a negative force to a positive one in your organization. Stay tuned.
#conflict #dealingwithconflict #dealingwithdifficultpeople #leadership #deliberateleadership