- We're not doctors (well, most of us). Refrain from making diagnosis for others (e.g., labeling someone as a drama queen or a narcissist.) Instead, focus on addressing their specific behaviors.
- Don't label the person; label the behavior. Some common problematic behaviors include being overly argumentative, placing blame, excessive criticism, defensiveness, and emotional outbursts.
- Our perspective significantly influences our emotions and actions. When faced with conflicts, start by examining your thoughts and perspective. Ask yourself, "Why would a perfectly reasonable and sane person behave this way?"
- Be mindful of irresponsible language such as blame, excuses, or playing the "grass is greener" game. Even as a joke, irresponsible language can have negative consequences.
- To identify problematic behaviors, precisely define what the person is doing that you find unacceptable. Understand how these actions affect both you and the team.
- Telling someone that their behavior is annoying you rarely leads to positive change. Instead, frame the issue as their problem and motivate them to change by answering: 1) What specific behavior needs to change? 2) How would the change benefit the individual? 3) How would the organization benefit from the change?
- If you're new to a company, take the time to observe for a reasonable period before proposing or making changes.
- Sometimes we feel powerless when people lose control, insult others, or yell. Especially when we're not in a position of authority. However, remember that we do have control. Just as the law works when enforced, it's up to us to set boundaries and act when others cross them. Clearly communicate the consequences for crossing those boundaries and be prepared to follow through.
Did You have any experience dealing with conflicting people? Share with us to improve together!