While few of us enjoy conflict in our relationships, both personal and professional, none of us will go through life avoiding it entirely.
Some level of conflict can be healthy, but no relationship can exist in this state for long.
To help us resolve conflict productively our Employee Assistance Program provider, Converge International suggest the following three tips:
Start by asking yourself how the situation developed, and what role you played in it. We can become angry and resentful towards others when we’re actually angry at ourselves, so it’s important to reflect on what’s really happening inside yourself. Accepting responsibility for your own actions, and your part in the conflict, can help you to not only resolve the problem, but also move past the issue.
Set a limit on time spent discussing the problem
No relationship should be a continual cycle of discussion about a problem. Set a limit on the amount of time you can allocate to discussing the problem, so the relationship doesn’t become defined by the conflict, and so there is also time for more pleasant conversation.
Allow time to change
Old habits take time to change, so allow both parties sufficient time to change the behaviour which caused the conflict. It’s important to be persistent in your efforts to make behavioural change as well, as habits are not formed overnight. While patience is key, passivity will not help you solve the conflict if the problem persists, so be sure to follow up to ensure changes are made.
If you’re looking for specific advice about conflict resolution for any relationship you should seek professional advice, or contact your workplace EAP provider. At Programmed, all of our employees have access to our EAP providers; we work with Converge in Australia and Vitae in New Zealand.