Conflict comes at you from all around nowadays: your kids, co-workers, political discussions, everywhere. You just can’t avoid conflict of some sort all day, everyday. Here are some steps that work for me.
- Listen to the other point of view without interrupting… no matter how wild the other’s stance is. Once they have had their say, you will be less likely to be interruped yourself.
- Start your side with the statement, “I’m not trying to win you over, but to ensure that you can see my point of view.” That will avoid a defensive comeback or a new attack just for the sake of winning an “arguement.”
- In the end, try to agree to disagree. No one has to win. We all have to live/work together.
Here is a personal example from last week. Being an editor, we are all quite proud of our writing skills and knowledge. Nothing sends us off the edge faster than elementary grammar mistakes and consistent typos from repeat offenders.
I asked our lead editor to read the meeting minutes I wrote up before I sent them to the group. She marked a quotation punctuation error that she caught. I looked at it and informed her that what was written was correct and that I didn’t make a mistake. [I am as bull-headed as they come. If I am wrong it is up to the other person to prove me wrong. -Ed.] She insisted that it should be the way she marked it. Given that she has 20 years of experience over and above mine, and I love her like a grandma, I told her I’d look up the rule in a published work and show her I was right. A few minutes later, I found it in the MLA handbook online. Upon showing it to her, she agreed that it is correct, but that was not how she was taught. Some rules change, and maybe this was one of them.
She made sure I understood that her marking it as incorrect was wrong, but that her understanding of the rules was not. We agreed.
I left it alone. 🙂