In a place where there are many different personalities, viewpoints, and opinions, it is almost impossible to avoid disagreements in the workplace. If these disagreements escalate into something an all out argument, it can be devastating to your future at the company, as well as your coworker’s, and the company as a whole. Here are some ways to avoid potentially destructive arguments at work.
Take note of others’ behaviors. By being aware of your coworkers’ behaviors, body language, and personalities, you can more easily read their reactions in tense situations. Having this skill can help you diffuse any disagreement from reaching a boiling point.
Try being assertive in your conversations without being arrogant. Use “I” statements that will cease any future accusations that can lead to arguments. “I” statements are much more effective than using “you” statements that can seem as if you are accusing the other person, even if that is not your intention.
Never try to one-up the other in conversation. Trying to appear superior over the other person makes you appear conceited and will hinder any easy resolutions in your conversations; by doing so, your coworker will also being trying to one-up you to “win” the conversation.
If you are wrong in conversation, admit it. By admitting your mistakes, you boost your reputation as an honest, not self-righteous coworker. Admitting your mistakes can also lessen the guilt you may create if you hold onto these mistakes.
Listen more and talk less. Hearing each person’s point of view instead of talking over them to get your point heard, will help you understand the reason behind the disagreement and stop any unnecessary arguments from happening as a result of a misunderstanding. Do not appear to be authoritative, appear as an equal to your coworker.
Avoid arguments to overall benefit the workplace. When arguments are resolved efficiently and respectfully, you, your coworkers and your company all take away something from the situation. Resolving conflict increases self-knowledge, understanding, and group cohesion. Mutual respect for each team member evolves into having faith in each other to work together and complete tasks. Conflicts also teach coworkers to reflect internally on what is important to them and what they are and are not willing to compromise on in future disagreements.
Having two people defend their beliefs to the fullest extent is no way to improve work relationships; it only creates tension and negativity, which sometimes can be long lasting, in the workplace. By avoiding unnecessary arguments in any way possible, Dale Carnegie states that it is one of the best ways to win friends and influence people.
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