Source | LinkedIn : By Dr. Travis Bradberry
Between the two of us, we’ve spent 50 years studying what makes people successful at work. A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success.
How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect, and connection you have with your colleagues.
Conflict typically boils down to crucial conversations—moments when the stakes are high, emotions run strong and opinions differ. And you cannot master crucial conversations without a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).
With a mastery of conflict being so critical to your success, it’s no wonder that, among the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested, more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.
So how can you use emotional intelligence to master crucial conversations? There are five common mistakes you must avoid, and five alternative strategies you can follow that will take you down the right path.
Mistake #1: Being Brutally Honest
You’ve suffered in silence long enough. Your colleague continues to park so close to your car that you have to enter through the passenger door. You’ve asked her before to stop. After a dozen more violations of your request, you decide you’ve suffered long enough. Clearly, she needs to know what you think of her intentional disrespect. So you let her have it. You get right in her face and tell her what an inconsiderate jerk she is.
How to beat this? Honesty without brutality. From a young age, we’re taught to believe that we have to choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend—that the only options are brutality or harmony. With emotional intelligence, you can speak the truth without burning a bridge.
Have you ever noticed how some conversations—even ones about very risky subjects—go very well? And others, even ones about trivial things, can degenerate into combat? The antidote to conflict is not diluting your message. It’s creating safety. Many people think the content of the conversation is what makes people defensive, so they assume it’s best to just go for it and be brutally honest. It isn’t. People don’t get defensive because of the content—they get defensive because of the intent they perceive behind it. It isn’t the truth that hurts—it’s the malice used to deliver the truth.