Happy February! This is the month of love (thanks to Valentine’s Day)! Everywhere you’ll find hearts, cupids and other symbols of love. When I see hearts this time of year, I use them to remind me to take a deep breath and to feel my own heart. It is a sweet time – with reminders to feel love and gratitude everywhere.
And, although this is a month of love, there may still be times when disagreements pop with your partner. For Lifework readers think of those business relationships in your life. A boss. A co-worker.
You know those irksome topics in those relationships that just keep popping up over and over (and over) again? Those topics that you just can’t seem to resolve or see eye-to-eye on? These topics are like the moles in that Whack-a-Mole arcade game. You know that game where the moles keep popping up and no matter how hard you try – even if you think you’ve knocked ‘em down for good – they just pop right back up.
When tricky moles rear their head in your work life it can feel impossible to get rid of them. They may very well bring with them arguments and tension. There will always be things that you disagree with people on. The good news is that you can move from conflict to calm in those relationships by putting the 4 steps below to work.
4 Steps to Move from Conflict to Calm
Time Out: When that mole pops up instead of holding on tightly to your position and talking it to death, take some space to be silent and reflect. Take 30 minutes or even a day to not talk about the issue while getting clear on your perspective, as well as the other person’s.
Trust Yourself & Your Partner: Instead of assuming that one of you is wrong trust in the goodness each of you brings to the table. Try to see their point of view as just that – a point of view. Trust that each of you is wise in your own way and has a valid and important view to share.
Be Clear and Open: Create a space for the two of you to come back together (don’t forget to breathe). Share point of view clearly and openly. It is okay for you to both to have different points of view. Share your understanding of the other person’s position, too. Be open to change, compromise or even agreeing to disagree.
Design What’s Next Together: Literally say, “Now we must figure out how we are going to come together on this issue even though we disagree.” From there, talk about what each of you wants and what the common, middle ground would look like and feel like. Get creative here and find a solution that you both can live with, for now. Try it out and then redesign down the road if your first design didn’t work.
So rather than playing a game of “Whack-a-Mole” when the tough topics pop up, use these 4 steps to help you move from repeat conversations into a calm and collaborative space together.