We often say the wrong things in confrontations:
- Stakes are high, so emotions are involved.
- We are uncomfortable with our negative emotions.
- We frame the issue into a question of who is right and who is wrong by immediately advocating our position.
- We don’t consider how others might interpret what we’ve said.
- We perceive people who disagree with us as biased.
When a disagreement escalates into a conflict it can be damaging to the relationship of the people involved and the organization they are a part of. If conflict escalates people tend to get entrenched in their positions and negative behaviors begin to manifest: flaring tempers, raised voices, body language becoming defensive or aggressive. It’s important that the disagreement is recognised and that escalation is avoided.