Management Tip: Know When to Let an Argument Go*

Sometimes the best solution to workplace conflict is just to leave it alone. If you’re deciding whether or not to raise an issue, first ask yourself: Am I too emotional right now? Heightened emotions make it tough to productively discuss the issue – and they can escalate the conflict if hurtful words slip out. Then ask: Can we even reach a resolution? If you don’t think a conversation will change anything — e.g., if your colleague is stuck in his ways or if the damage is already done — it’s better to let it go. Do what you can to end the conversation or postpone it: “I’m not ready to have this talk right now. Let me clear my head outside, and maybe we can talk tomorrow.” And once you’ve opted out, accept your own decision and don’t ruminate.
*Source: Harvard Business School’s Management Tip of the Day
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