Assertiveness In Times of Conflict
Another example of using assertiveness effectively is in the area of conflict and problem solving.
This often happens in the office, since you are dealing with so many diverse personalities. There is bound to be some conflict at one time or another. This report can help you recognize the problem and resolve it peacefully and fairly. There are certain steps you must follow to successfully resolve a conflict with another co-worker.
• If you have a problem with a co-worker, you should take it first to them in the hope of having a quick resolution. The problem could be as simple as a misunderstanding and a private chat could clear things up immediately.
• Whatever you do, speak with that person privately; never criticize in public. Always praise in public and condemn in private. Humiliation will not help your cause. Speaking in private allows the other person to save face, especially if it is just a simple misunderstanding. The rest of the office need not know anything about it and you can lay it to rest quickly and with finality.
• Try to speak to the person as soon as you encounter the problem. Problems left on their own and unresolved just grow bigger and bigger in the imagination. Go for a resolution as soon as you can.
• Keep calm as you speak to the person and avoid getting defensive. At the same time, do not apologize for the issue you want to complain about.
• Stick to the one issue that is bothering you. Do not begin by complaining that they always do something that is irritating or they never do something you think they should do. Focus on the complaint and do not deviate from that issue.
• Before you decide to speak to the person about that complaint, ask yourself if it is something that can be changed. The saying goes, “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and avoid the unacceptable.” Pick your battles. If it is a lost cause, move on. It is not worth beating your head against a brick wall.
• Start by complimenting the person for something he accomplished in the past. Keep in mind that no one likes criticism. He will be more likely to step forward and solve the problem, if you show that you appreciate his hard work in other areas.
If it appears that you have a hand in the conflict, own up to it, and become a part of the resolution as well. This will do a lot towards cementing relations in a large office. Always take the high road; do the right thing. Compromise does not mean you are not being assertive, it just means you know how to play fair.