The Non-Confrontational Person’s Guide to Conflict

Running your own business comes with a heck of a lot of responsibilities. It’s only natural that not all of them will be suited to your particular strengths – or tastes. Confrontation, for example, is a particular problem for a lot of people, but if you’re the boss then unfortunately, in many scenarios, the buck stops with you.

Yet confrontation needn’t be all bad. While you don’t need to love conflict, learning to deal with it will be good for you and your business. Conversely, bottling resentment up can be pretty damaging all around. It raises stress, endangers your heart and lowers your immune system. Fail to bring that conflict out in the open, and you could wind up sick and depressed.

So instead of seeing conflict as something to avoid, or even a necessary evil, try to reframe it for its positive aspects.

If you come up against someone who refuses to back down over a particular issue, take the chance to study what makes them tick, and value their tenacity and their passion for what they do. See it as a chance to work together.

It’s also a great way to clear the air and re-energize the team to move on towards the next goal – so long as you handle it right.

That means being clear and concise. You probably hate to yell – but if you bottle up that anger and let it out only in veiled hints and suggestion, yelling’s probably what you’ll end up doing when your patience expires. Instead, prepare some notes by yourself and use facts to express your point of view. Those facts can include why you have the right to interfere and what are the ramifications of the other person’s behavior. Just be sure to use demonstrable facts and not just strongly held opinions.

But don’t let go of your humanity and your humility. Remain calm and hear the other person out. If they’re wrong, this puts you in a stronger position. And who knows, if they feel so passionate about an issue, maybe they have some helpful points to make!

For a full guide on how to turn conflict into a productive process, check out this new guide from NetCredit.

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