It can be pretty hard to get through life without experiencing a few disagreements along the way. When you know you have to deal with conflict, whether at uni or work, it’s rarely pleasant, and it’s not unusual for your stress levels to rise.
Some people will go to great lengths to try and avoid tackling conflicts, but putting off dealing with the issue can make the situation worse. Clashes in the workplace can be costly because they take up a lot of time and resources. Sometimes, the stress of the situation results in people taking time off.
The best approach to dealing with incidents of conflict in your groups, at uni or work, or in your family life, is to learn about conflict management and develop skills in this area.
If you understand the many reasons that can sit behind a disagreement, you have a better chance of developing ways to deescalate highly emotional situations. And while conflict can start off as a negative experience, it can become a tool for positive change.
When people calmly explain how someone else’s actions are negatively affecting them, it can help team members learn to empathise with each other. They can develop a greater understanding of another aspect of the work they’re involved in. Or, they may discover that the issue is simply a matter of poor communication practices that can easily be improved.
Developing strong skills in this area now will take the stress out of dealing with conflict, and help you work more collaboratively at uni, in the workplace and beyond.