Conflict is difficult because it triggers our acute stress response, and we typically react with “fight” or “flight.” If you tend to be aggressive, you will likely respond to conflict with “fight.” If you are not aggressive, your response will be “flight.” Either reaction bypasses our rational mind and makes it difficult to act logically.
A productive way to handle conflict is by calling on our emotional intelligence (see book with same title by Dan Goleman). Emotional intelligence affects how we manage behavior, navigate social situations, and make decisions. The four key components of emotional intelligence are: self-awareness: being aware of your reactions and tendencies self-management: staying on top of, and managing your reactions social awareness: being able to perceive what others are feeling and thinking and picking up on the emotions of others relationship management: using your awareness of your emotions and those of others to manage interactions; this includes communicating clearly and handling conflict.
To use emotional intelligence in conflict resolution, make calm statements of fact, ask questions, and listen. Try to understand the other person's point of view without judgment. Tell the facts as you see them and how they affect you. Explain the outcome you are hoping for and ask for other ideas for solutions. This will lead to a discussion that can resolve the conflict that recognizes and meets everyone's needs.