When two co-workers are having a conflict, what do you do?
Conflicts commonly happen in the workplace. They are inevitable, so it is very important to know how to resolve conflicts wisely. I’d like to share some tips that I often use.
Why are there conflicts? It is because everyone has different thoughts and views which come from their individual life experiences. People often think that their own thoughts and views are right. As a result, they sometimes don’t truly listen, yet just try to persuade others, causing conflict in both parties.
People can know only what they have experienced, which means that their knowledge is limited. Many people have degrees of self-centered views insisting that they are right, which causes many conflicts. However, what we have not conceptualized is that our different thoughts and views are NOT the actual cause of conflict, yet the actual causes are people’s thoughts or beliefs that they are right. Those are the blockages in the process of reaching agreed conclusions.
Then, what should be done to resolve conflicts?
First, you need to know and accept that you may be wrong. You might have been right before, but you may be wrong in this particular situation. You can only know what you know based on your life lived experiences. In your own thoughts, you are right, but there can be something else that you don’t know and this is what we need to ACCEPT.
Second, once you are able to accept this, try to let go of your intention to persuade or force others. In a discussion, we easily make ourselves argue and persuade others. It’s okay unless there are disagreements and conflicts.
When conflicts occur, we need to discard the persuasive attitude. To discard this attitude, we need to consciously try to let go influencing others of our own beliefs through persuasion. There is no need to push our views/ values on to others because just as you think you are right, they are also thinking they are right and they won’t easily let go of their belief, either. People want their opinions to be respected.
So, open your mind and listen to them with respect. They probably have good reasons to argue, but you also don’t need to think that your opinion is wrong. You just need to be able to accept that you may be wrong and be open to whatever conclusion that may come. If you are right, things will go in that direction sooner or later because when people know that you are open and respect them, they will start to listen to you. And if you are wrong, then you will find the right direction.
Third, you also need to look back on yourself: what you said, what you did, and most importantly, what you were thinking and feeling. Both your conscious and subconscious mind is conveyed to others. Even when you don’t explicitly say or act, people feel it either consciously or subconsciously.
In a conversation, you may be thinking in your mind: ‘oh, I don’t like his way of saying. He’s always like this.’ or ‘she doesn’t know anything. I don’t need to listen to her.’ or ‘I know that I’m right in this matter. They should listen to me.’
These thoughts and feelings are like thorns that hurt others. So, let’s eliminate the pain inflicted on others and view life from an objective standpoint. To have an objective perspective, try to see yourself from the outside. Here’s a small tip: Imagine as if you are flying on a drone in the air and looking down at yourself. From my experience, this helps me not to be biased in my favor.
In case you find any thorns in your mind, try to discard them. And if you can, it’s even better that you truly apologize for that thorny mind. Even at work, try to pay more attention to people than the work itself. Once they know that you are ready to listen and respect them, they will also open their minds and listen to you. Then, things will go smoothly in good harmony.
Practice these tips. You can come up with wise resolutions in conflictive situations.
I hope this helps you and I’d like to share a video I found helpful.