Everyone offends someone at some point. Differences in views can lead to conflicts. You do not have to look farther than the ugly exchanges often seen nowadays on social media platforms. Conflict is part of personal and professional relationships. It is normal for disagreements to occur among people who are uniquely different from each other. How you deal with conflict, however, defines the quality of relationships you have with people around you. If you want to build strong connections with people, you have to learn how to handle conflict with grace. Here are some ideas on how to be gracious in the midst of conflict or disagreement.
1. Keep calm. Staying calm is one of the critical conflict resolution skills you have to develop. Maintaining your equanimity despite brewing or full-blown conflicts can be challenging. But keeping your inner calm is a great way to avert aggravating possibly volatile situations. If you do not want to fuel or spark more anger and resentment, you have to remain calm so you could focus on resolving the issues at hand.
2. Listen actively. Dealing with conflict graciously often starts with listening patiently and objectively to what the other party has to say. You do not have to agree with everything that is being said. Making an effort to listen well and understand what is being communicated can help defuse tension, anger, and other heightened negative emotions.
3. Aim to resolve conflict, not fuel it. It is normal to feel that you have to defend yourself, especially if you believe that you are right. However, there are circumstances when you have to prioritize conflict resolution over winning an argument or being proven right. Before you take a defensive stance, consider the relationship you have with the person or people involved. Ask yourself if the need to be proven right matters most to you than preserving the relationship.
4. Show respect at all times. Keeping the respect is one of the most important conflict resolution techniques you can apply. To do that, you have to separate the issues from the people involved. You may hate the disagreement, but you do not have to automatically dislike the person involved. Maintain a respectful stance to ease the ill feelings surrounding the circumstances.
5. Avoid needless fights. An excellent way to handle conflict with grace is not to be drawn into one. Sometimes you have to pick your battles to avoid wasting precious time and energy. If a potential conflict involves something that you are better off letting go, you can take the high road by yielding or walking away.