The origami frog fluttered out of my career journal. When I unwrapped and smoothed it out, it revealed notes from a work shop I had taken during graduate school that still apply today. The page read:
Positive ways to handle conflict
- Pick your battles, focus on the most important things and let the rest go. Not all things are worth a fight.
- Assume that people have the best intentions. Most people don’t do things out of spite- they just don’t see the repercussions of their actions.
- Choose the right time and place- its best to bring up issues in private. Avoid confronting someone when you’re angry. Resolve to stay calm.
- Stick to one issue at a time, and be specific about what is bothering you. Say what you would like to see done or changed, and then check in the other person.
- Avoid getting defensive. Ask questions to get more information, such as “can you help me understand what you mean?”
- Be positive, no matter what. If you’re polite, most people will be polite in return.