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Dealing with conflict

As humans we are emotional beings, and it is unrealistic to believe that we check our feelings at the door when we walk into the office and pick them up on the way out.   

When we try to stuff down our feelings, or when we fail to recognize others’ emotions, we open the door to escalating conflicts.  

Unfortunately, many people feel inadequate expressing their emotions because they may be more vulnerable.  Conversely, leaders are often afraid that listening to emotional communications will trigger a negative response or hurt feelings.   However, suppressing emotions obstructs open, honest, respectful communication and hinders creative problem-solving. 

 Emotional intelligence does not advocate uncontrolled expressions of emotions.  Rather, self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy can open the door to creative problem-solving.  The overarching goal is to create a collaborative atmosphere where emotions can be expressed without fear of retaliation and conflicts can be resolved and used as opportunities for growth.  

Leaders who cultivate emotional awareness will motivate employees to enthusiastically pursue organizational goals, treat people with respect and sensitivity, and build networks that find common ground and build rapport.