Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Even minor disagreements with a colleague can spiral out of control if not addressed and discussed. The lingering anger and resentment often harm individual and team relationships. When things get tense, avoid the temptation to pull away (if that is your natural tendency). Although uncomfortable, it's better to engage and try to reset by taking the following steps:
Immediately acknowledge the tension using an I statement, such as, "I felt a little uncomfortable during our last conversation."
Show positivity about the future while acknowledging the challenge. For example, you might say, "I know we don't agree on this, and we are both upset. But I'm optimistic we can work it out."
Remind your colleague that you care about your relationship and working well together. This assurance will help to keep your current conflict from spoiling the entire relationship.
Schedule a meeting for a few days later, giving you both time to let your emotions calm.