Conflict Resolution Tips: How to Stay Calm! #peopleskills #custserv

Conflict Resolution: You Can Stay Calm in Conflict.

As The People Skills Coach™, I am often asked for conflict resolution tips. Most especially — how to stay calm in the midst of verbal conflict.

Although taking a break can be very helpful, sometimes after the break the calm evaporates and the conflict remains. Then what?

There are also times at work when you can’t take a break. Customer service agents, sales account reps, team members working to solve a crisis are often under fixed time demands. How can they stay calm and work toward conflict resolution?


Conflict Resolution: Image is the word Rejuvenate.

Conflict Resolution: How to Stay Calm? Image by SweetDreamzDesign via Flickr.

Image by SweetDreamzDesign via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Staying Calm for Conflict Resolution

If you find yourself getting anxious in the midst of verbal conflict, these 3 steps will help you.

  1. Hear the fear and need vs. the anger and biting accusation. Behind other people’s anger and accusations, there is always a fear and/or need. Let your mind focus on finding the real issue. Hear other people’s fear to get out of fight/flight mode and into conflict resolution.
  2. When I first hear other people’s anger, I quietly ask myself …

    • Where is their fear or pain? How can I resolve this?
    • Is it that they’ve lost trust?
    • Do they believe worse things are going to follow?
    • Are they under pressure to please someone else?

  3. Know and believe your excellence is in the resolution. Other people’s anger tells your ego you are inferior. You tense up to defend it. The fact is you are not inferior. In truth, your excellence is in your ability to work it out!
  4. Learn more about your natural conflict resolution style. Self-awareness develops the mind’s ability to filter emotion. Knowing your conflict resolution style highlights the triggers you need to manage in order to stay calm. Take the Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument to learn your style.

Success soars when you can hear the fear and need behind people’s anger, outbursts, and accusations. You will solve the problems and defuse the emotion.

Your potential to turn obstacles into fixes will show everyone that your infinite career potential. You can care for customers. You can collaborate with colleagues. You can break logjams on difficult projects. You can lead others through difficult moments.

No matter how much you fear verbal conflict, you can develop the ability to stay calm. My skills have grown with practice, time, and commitment.

(Of course if you feel the person is going to physically attack, get out. It’s the wise thing to do. I speak in this post about non-physical conflict.)

What growth and success have you had in staying calm? Will you share your story here?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

What’s next? I invite you to connect with me on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I am happy to answer your people skills questions for great customer service, employee engagement, teamwork and leading change!


Other Posts to Help You:
13 People Skills Tips to Rock w/ Career Success
5 Thoughts to Keep You Calm w/ Angry Customers

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

6 Responses to “Conflict Resolution Tips: How to Stay Calm! #peopleskills #custserv”

  1. Jon Mertz says:

    Great questions to think about when dealing with someone’s anger, Kate. In situations like these, I definitely don’t want to react, as this will make the situation worse. Instead, I try to stay calm, prepare some questions to ask, and then ask the questions. By asking questions, I can either drill into the crux of the problem or begin to diffuse the level of perceived conflict. By staying calm, we will learn much more and lead forward with our integrity whole. Thanks! Jon

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Exactly Jon. Great questions, even those we ask ourselves, keep our minds focused on service instead of emotionally reacting in a bad way.

      Always pleased to see your comments.
      Many thanks,

  2. Kate – You make a great point about hearing the fear. There’s so much habitual behavior that is triggered when we (unknowingly) revive old fearful memories from past pain and disappointments: screaming, shutting down emotionally, running away, playing the victim, trying to gain leverage, etc.

    When we can be self aware enough not to be baited by the other person’s reaction, we can extract ourselves from the emotional tug of war and guide the conversation to a calmer place.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Marc. You added much when you cautioned everyone against “reviving old fearful memories” … so true. And conversely, when we can hear others’ fears it gives us great insight into how to deliver great service to them!

      Thanks for contributing here. I hope you visit often and comment.

      Best regards,

  3. I have to agree with all the previous comments. Fear is such an issue when it comes to resolving conflicts. Our own self-awareness of our own issues are a huge key in learning to deal with others and their issues.
    Great post Kate.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Robert. So pleased you found this post valuable. Self-awareness opens the door to many successes — and dealing w/ others and conflict situations is toward definitely in that zone.

      Warmest wishes,

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest