Article: How to keep an argument from becoming a battleground

Life @ Work

How to keep an argument from becoming a battleground

Would you rather settle for a truce or wage a war with your coworker. Rumour has it that you must do the former for large a good.
How to keep an argument from becoming a battleground

At work, we get to meet a variety of people. Our vibes might match a few peoples, ' but we will also have to work with those whose vision and perceptions don’t quite seem right. Does that mean you should lose reason and prepare for a duel with the only purpose of winning? Perhaps not. One has got to stop misreading cues and keep away from finding out who can take maximum blows. What must also be understood is that work’s no war place. You have been hired to reach an objective, together. And, heated arguments ten times a day is not going to lead you anywhere. Will it?

So, how is it that you can forget your differences and engage in a healthy exchange of ideas? Let’s say that the answer to this challenging question is simple: by keeping calm. For all you know outbursts might be an outcome of reasons about which you know very little. Meanwhile, here’s how you can achieve your Buddha state of mind. 

Check your nonverbal behaviour

It is easy to begin focusing on the tone of voice and choice of words made by your colleague and manifesting your disagreement through your body language.  And, even though you are mouthing the right words, your hand movement, leaning closer to them or making a fist or tapping your feet constantly as you talk might convey your mind’s inner working. It is likely to fuel the argument and cause unrest. What you can instead do is exhibit a neutral body posture and don’t throw your emotions around in your words. Neither speak too fast nor mumble in your mouth. Make them believe that you are open to a healthy debate not a war of wits. 

Don’t respond immediately

When you respond unthinkingly, you are likely not to reach any conclusion. Learn to regulate your emotions because you alone know how to manage a short circuit of thoughts inside your mind! If your colleague is shouting, don’t shout back. When you refuse to mimic their behaviour it will give them time to auto-correct theirs and become wary of what they are saying. Don’t add to the conversation, especially if you think they are all over the place. 

Be supportive

You might think that it’s probably not the best thing to do, eh? You would perhaps argue that it is the last thing one must think of. But, think about it for a second. Despite your colleague’s argumentativeness, look for logic in their argument and highlight that. This will show that you are following their line of thought closely and not just looking to pick a brawl. Say, “I understand why you are saying so”; “Your approach is absolutely on point” or “You have a valid point when you say…but”. You will notice that once you show confidence in them they will recede and participate in a mature conversation with you. Such dialogues help everyone on the table closer to solutions. Agree? 

In the end, you must remember that at work nothing should keep you from being reasonable. These emotional outbursts are a way of how things sometimes turn out at work. You can’t be aggressive in your approach. Whether it is you or your colleague, learn to gather yourself and keep from falling into the trap of irrational behaviour. You will need to follow restraint in your approach and allow yourself as much as others to filter out anger/frustration from your/their system.

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Topics: Life @ Work, Employee Relations

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