When you’re faced with conflict, try to follow these simple approaches to defuse it. It only takes one person to choose to calm things down and prevent the situation from getting any worse.

A conflict situation can be made better by:

  • Not taking the situation personally, even if you think it was meant that way.
  • The words you use – use positive, supportive words, say sorry if you have done something wrong and try to be good mannered.
  • Tone of voice – talk in a relaxed, friendly tone.
  • Body posture – appear friendly, relaxed and non-threatening. Move back to give them space and display open body posture, showing your palms.
  • Gestures – avoid fast and sudden movements.
  • Acknowledging the other person – show that you are listening to what they are saying, respect their point of view and emotions (don’t dismiss them) for example – saying ‘calm down’ shows you’ve failed to understand how the other person is feeling.