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8 Secrets People Good At Mastering Conflicts Never Told You

8 Secrets People Good At Mastering Conflicts Never Told You

Mastering conflicts is a skill that sets leaders and successful managers apart from their peers. The art of resolving conflict in a professional and productive manner are able to get big projects done, keep customers happy, and get ahead. When you know how to effectively handle conflict, both your personal and professional life benefit. The ability to handle conflict has a massive impact on your success and your emotional intelligence.

1. They Know How To Recognize Conflict

Identifying conflict in the workplace and other settings is the first key to mastering it effectively. Ignoring conflicts is rarely helpful. Different people and organizations manifest conflict in different ways and it takes time to learn about these points. For example, conflict in a process driven company may look like slowed decision making and silences. In contrast, conflict at a rapidly growing startup company may involve shouting matches (and more!). Learning to identify conflict is what makes certain people stand out at conflict resolution.

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2. They Work Through Conflict As An Opportunity

Successful people know that conflict presents both challenge and opportunity. For example, if a sales professional solves a problem posed by a customer then the customer is much more likely to buy again. Keeping the potential for growth in mind is a great way to motivate yourself to work through conflict.

3. They Read Body Language Effectively

Reading body language is a key skill needed to handle conflict effectively. For example, communication expert Vanessa Van Edwards explains that you can predict who will get punched in the face by reading body language. You may not realize that you already assess body language on a regular basis! Pay more attention to it and you’ll see just how much you notice in every situation, including conflict.

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4. They Learn From The Best In Conflict Management

Masters of conflict resolution learn from others who have gone before them. They take the time to read books and use conflict resolution resources. Signing up for a single weekend workshop on conflict management is enough to radically improve your skills. Just like you hone other skills — paying special attention to conflict resolution can up your emotional intelligence drastically.

If you are frustrated with your approach to conflict, seek out insights from books, experts and mentors. Asking for advice and seeking constant improvement is a key reason that successful people stay on top.

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5. They Focus On Their Actions and Choices

When you are faced with conflict, it can be difficult to think clearly. You may feel attacked by your boss, for example. Rather than focusing on blame “and who started it,” there is another approach to consider.

Ask yourself what choice you can make next to move forward. You can ask for a break from to reconsider your thoughts. You can also take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. Giving yourself a pause means you are more likely to come up with solutions (instead of escalating the conflict).

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6. They Think About The Future

What comes to mind when you think about the future? For many people, the future suggests options and possibilities. Asking the other party to focus on the future is a helpful technique, especially if the discussion is going around in circles. Ask the other person what they want in the future. That kind of question will move the discussion closer to a solution.

7. They Show Respect For The Other Person

In our culture, we constantly see images of conflict – battles, hotly contended sports games, elections and more. Competition inspires us to do our best. However, successful masters of conflict never forget to show respect for the other person. Well-known expert William Ury proposes that showing respect for the other person – even during civil wars and high tension situations – is a simple way to move a discussion forward.

8. They Speak Up In Conflicts

Conflict is difficult. Some people respond to that reality by ignoring the situation. Often, avoiding conflict only makes the situation worse. That’s why masters of conflict resolution speak up and bring conflict situations into the open. This habit takes time and experience to develop. For example, it is often a wise idea to postpone addressing a conflict situation if you are in a public place. Instead, ask to meet the person privately and raise your concerns with them in a one-on-one setting.

Featured photo credit: Argument/RyanMcGuire via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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