How many of us have feelings of anger in a day? My bet is pretty much everyone.
On the journey to work, someone cuts in front of you causing you to brake hard. How do you feel? Annoyed? What do you do? Honk your horn? Shout obscenities? Sit on their tail?
These are all common reactions.
Are they wrong?
We are told it is good to let our feelings out. What we need to be aware of is that anger can be an incredibly damaging force.
The key is not that anger is 'wrong' it is how it is handled that can be damaging.
Uncontrolled anger can cost you your job, personal relationships, and even your life when it gets out of hand. However, everyone experiences anger, it is part of being human; so it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively.
Conflict can arise from anger and unresolved issues or emotions.
Whenever two or more people come together, there is bound to be conflict. It is inevitable.
Conflict, like anger, is a part of being human.
We are not robots. We are real people with real feelings.
The critical thing is how we handle the conflict, how we deal with our anger, how we can resolve any unmet needs.
What do you do?
Do you bully the other person until they agree with you?
or do you always give up what you want in order to keep the peace?
Neither way is conducive to long-term peace. Bullying can cause resentment, further anger, and significantly harm mental health.
Equally, giving up and suppressing your needs will cause long-term resentment to build which can manifest in physical and mental stress.
So if those strategies don't work, what will?
The first way to start to learn to deal with conflict is to recognize and accept that conflict is normal. It is a natural part of any relationship, whether at work or home.
The key is to know how to handle it in such a way that it does not cause damage to ourselves or anyone else.
Dealing with conflict is crucial for every individual and every organisation no matter what the size.
If left unchecked or not resolved it can lead to sometimes severe consequences: sickness, lost productivity, attrition, and even lawsuits.
Here are some quick tips that can help manage conflict.
Sign up for a full easy to follow guide that you can use to resolve conflict, remain friends after and get more of what you want in life without hurting others.
Step 1: Accept that anger and conflict are a part of being human
Step 2: Separate the person from the problem. Be objective, what is the real problem here? What is someone doing that is causing you to feel angry? That you don't like?
Step 3: Be honest with yourself. Accept yourself for who you are. When we fight who we are it is much harder to make the changes we need to in order to develop as a person and change behaviours that may not be helping us.
Step 4: Now this one takes some practice, particularly when you are feeling angry and upset. However, this is a great way to start to reduce anger and resolve conflict....put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Try and see the problem from their point of view.
Why might that person have cut in front of you on the road this morning? Perhaps they were rushing a sick child to the hospital?
When we think about a situation from another person's point of view, we change our frame of reference and it becomes much easier to find successful resolutions to problems.
Step 5: Follow a structured problem-solving process to identify possible ways to move forward. Be collaborative, and make sure that all parties are given a chance to put their point of view forward.