Staying in the room during an argument is a difficult thing to do, but it has become necessary now more than ever. People often cling to their beliefs and close themselves off from other opinions. To break the ice, you need to set the tone by reaching out to others. That’s why groups such as No Labels are working to promote a problem-solving mentality for people to follow.
However, communicating across sharp lines is a lot easier said than done. Not everyone has the discipline and determination to work towards a common solution. If you’re ready to stay in the room and tackle the issues at hand, then read on for tips that can help you endure the hardest conversations.
Pursue the Problem.
The biggest mistake people often make is seeing the other party as the enemy. An argument doesn’t have to be framed in terms of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ In fact, an argument can be seen as a conversation that requires two groups in order to happen in the first place. When you look at it this way, you can then view the other side as a partner that you’re working with to find a resolution.
This kind of thinking shifts your focus from the person across the table to the problem at hand, which is key. Once you separate the issue from people’s identities, you can pinpoint how the problem has affected both groups and what you can do about it.
Remember, the person you’re arguing with isn’t the obstacle. Placing blame on people only distracts from the real issues and slows down the process. Keep everyone’s eyes set on a common vision, and you can develop a collaborative conflict-resolution approach.
Keep the Peace.
No matter how close to home an issue hits, you need to find a way to keep your emotions in check. Lashing out and venting only breeds distrust and more anger between people. To establish a calming atmosphere, you need to set the standard with your example. If others sense that you are losing your patience, the room could boil over in a hurry.
Before entering the room, you need to ensure you have plenty of tools at your disposal to diffuse a situation. Knowing when to take a few deep breaths is crucial to staying calm and holding back harsh words. Equip yourself with different strategies, so you can approach any argument with cool confidence.
The point of an argument is to find a common solution for everyone, so you need to arrive with a peacekeeper mentality. As long as you remain calm and collected, people will see that you’re dedicated to addressing the problem rather than winning the argument. That’s the kind of leader everyone will respect and work with.
Open the Floor.
One of the greatest signs of leadership is having the courage to listen to other opinions, especially those different from your own. The last thing you want to do is stick to your own beliefs because the other group will then do the same. Instead of holding a narrow view, open yourself up to a wider range of perspectives. Doing so will help you remain more considerate and aware of the bigger picture.
Plus, embracing a more diverse approach can lead to faster and even better solutions. Creativity is the result of ideas coming together and building off of each other to produce a newer idea. Encourage a space where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and collaborating. You’re much more likely to find an effective resolution this way than working on your own.
Listening to others takes practice, but you can master this skill if you put in the time and effort. It’s important to ease yourself into a difficult conversation, so follow these steps to smooth over a hard topic.
Once you’ve made it clear you’ll consider other perspectives, you’ll open the door to a range of possible solutions that work for everyone.
Navigate the Nuance.
Arguments on difficult subjects often have many parts to them, so you need to remain patient throughout the process. After all, an argument can span multiple conversations. If you’re not committed to finding a solution, communication can break down over time. That’s why you need to approach any argument with the patience and resolve to find an answer, no matter how long it takes.
The hardest arguments are often complex in nature, which means you’ll need time and extra help. The greatest solutions are never produced by one person, but demand collaboration from many people. Establish a healthy relationship with the other side, and you can find a way to build a solution on the common ground between both groups.
Navigating an argument may take you down a long, winding path, but working with others can help you reach the light at the end of the tunnel.