Conflict Avoidance and Warm Conversations
The first rule of avoiding conflict will sound simple: you’ll smack yourself in the head or me in the head because there are some people you can’t avoid. The first rule is to avoid people that are always in conflict.
I had a boss once that was a type A. She knew everything and made sure you knew that fact. She would never compromise. She was always right and just downright horrible to work for. I didn’t last long at that job.
At every meeting I was in with her, she argued against everything — even things utterly unrelated to our specific team. Not long after I left, there was a group reorganization, and she was told a promotion wasn’t in her future, and it was suggested she go. She did. Only to run into the same problem with her next endeavor.
I’m getting at that if you’re around people that argue with everybody. Eventually, you will be the target of that argumentative nature. Keep this in mind when choosing team members or project partners.
Disagreements are going to happen at work. That’s the nature of life. But they don’t have to be arguments. There are three kinds of disagreement conversations. Hot, cold, and warm. You want to find people that know how to have friendly discussions.
The hot conversations are where voices are raised, profanities and maybe even furniture are flying. No progress is happening because there’s too much emotion, not enough listening, and not enough compromising. The cold type of conversation is where a person shuts down, scowls, and doesn’t say a word. These types of conversations fail because communication has failed. A warm discussion happens when two people are having a disagreement but have an actual goal of working things out.
These conversations have interactive listening, emotion is kept in check, and an overall tone of maturity. These types of discussions have the expressed purpose of not turning into conflict. You can still be assertive and hold your ground in a warm conversation.
Your goal is conflict-resistant people that know how to have a warm conversation. This will get you far in the workplace and in all kinds of business and personal relationships.