When you interact with so many people, conflict is inevitable. What matters is the way you handle conflict, how you are able to extract useful information from conflict and take corrective steps based on that information.
No matter whether you are in conflict with a client or a team member, here are some tips that will help you handle it in the best possible way:
- Don't take it personally. You represent Nebulab, not yourself. Even if the feedback you are receiving is directed at you, do not take it personally: you're in a professional setting and should act like a professional. Respond with facts and numbers rather than opinions and remarks.
- Take your time to respond. It can be hard to think when you're under enemy fire. It is perfectly acceptable, even during a call, to take some time to collect your thoughts and respond properly. Let the other person express all of their ideas, then take as long as you need to express yours. You may even do it in a different moment if you prefer.
- Show empathy. This is the golden rule: keep in mind that the other person has a right to be heard and have their feelings acknowledged. Never dismiss someone's feedback just because you think they're wrong and always take the time to respond properly.
- Take action. When no one does anything about it, conflict only gets worse and worse, until it explodes and becomes unmanageable. End every discussion with an actionable plan you and the other party commit to in order to make things right. This holds you both accountable and will show them that you truly care about what they're saying.
- Learn to escalate. If you're not sure how to handle a given situation or things have already gotten out of hand, you shouldn't bear this burden alone. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone from the leadership team to get help: that's why they're there!