Listen to both sides, before responding. Take time to step back and absorb the situation to gain perspective.
One of the best strategies for introverts to manage conflict is to listen carefully to both sides before responding, this comes naturally to introverts, off the cuff comments and solutions are not your way.
However, if you are confronted with a situation where opposing perspectives are presented, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and reactive. Taking time to step back and really absorb the situation from all angles before forming an opinion or responding is important. By taking a few moments to do so, you will gain perspective and be better prepared to handle the conflict in an appropriate manner.
Be confident enough to stop the conflict, if at work or at home give everyone a ‘time-out’. Send people to different locations to give you a moment to step back and come up with your own conclusions and actions.
Taking the power in this situation to separate people who have conflict can bring the temperature down quickly. Even having a night to sleep on it, but keeping everyone aware of what you are doing can be really helpful.
Focus on empathy and understanding instead of getting into an argumentative debate.
When it comes to managing conflict as an introvert, it's important to focus on empathy and understanding rather than entering into an argumentative debate. Being able to show compassion towards the other person can help defuse the situation and allow you to reach a resolution more easily.
Listening carefully and really trying to understand their perspective is key - this will help you come up with creative solutions instead of getting stuck in a back-and-forth argument.
Asking questions. This will help the person feel like they are being heard, even if you are unable to solve the problem then and there, the act of listening and asking questions will show them that you are taking all the information before considering an outcome.
‘Tell me in your words what happened?’
‘Who was involved?’
‘What was the issue?’
‘Where did this happen?’
‘When did it happen?’
‘Why are we in this situation?’
‘What do you want to happen next?’
Take breaks if necessary, so you have time to calm down, re-energize, and collect your thoughts before addressing the conflict again.
Taking breaks while managing conflicts as an introvert can be incredibly beneficial. Breaks allow you to take some time to breathe, relax, and collect your thoughts. This will give you the opportunity to reflect on the situation objectively and help you come up with more productive solutions. Breaks also provide a chance for both sides of the conflict to calm down, which can make it easier to peacefully resolve any disputes.
Encouraging people to take a comfort break, a drink, lunch or even a cigarette / vape break can be beneficial, not just for you, but also for other people within the conflict. Not only does it give you time out to reflect, but it gives them time to think as well.
Announcing that a break is to be taken, not asking if people want a break, but saying ‘Right we are going to take a 10-15 min break for everyone to get some air, the toilet and a drink, will see you back here at …. (state the time).’
Making sure you are not spending that time outside the room with anyone can ensure the introvert in you can actually think.
Conflict resolution as an introvert can be a daunting task. But with the right strategies and solutions as well as the confidence to deploy them, it doesn't have to be! By taking the time to listen to both sides, stepping back to gain perspective, understanding others’ point-of-view and taking breaks if necessary - navigating through conflict can be done in a calm and peaceful way. These strategies will enable you to make better decisions that benefit everyone involved in the situation and can make the difference between a successful resolution and a mess.
You can read my blog about building self confidence here .