Comments: The Top 10 Tips on Managing Conflict, Emotional Tension and Anger

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TH , Conyers GA   03/14/11
Great insight with this article and very helpful. I am trying to coach an employee on getting a hold of her emotions during the work days. It's not fun nor easy but this did help. Thank you

David , Nairobi     01/21/09
I totally agree, I have this childhood emotional anger that keeps creeping back every time I feel alone or neglected and its really gets to me to a point I get repulsive of all the people close to me. I always build this defensive walls around me How do i deal with this??

Nadir Bhanji, Vancouver BC     08/10/07
As much as this article has good points, it's no always that easy. I have tension, I have been trying to get rid of, but still wants to comeback. I try to forget or let go the tension, but it's like a boomerang, it keeps coming back. I've tried methods in this article, all it does is make you hold back how you feel, giving the impression of letting go.

len , signal hill ca   01/18/04
as an alien visiting this planet, i notice that earth folks tend to look for the bad, despite claiming to look for the good/ the silver lining/ the common bond, etc. here we have a dispute about ONE point of an otherwise very insightful article. very interesting. i remember a cute story about ingrates. a poor man was given a hundred dollar bill. he complained about the fact that it was old & wrinkled. oh. the alien comment. got it from a VERY interesting book which taught geometry as if explaining it to a visitor from a different world. if we look at things from that POV, perhaps we would not be so harsh on others. but, i could be wrong. live long & prosper, humans!

Eugene , Buffalo Gap TX   08/22/02
If you throw a stone into a pack of dogs, the one who howls is the one you hit. The Doctor hit the nail on the head when she described the danger of emails in disputes. As one who has worked extensively in non-profit disputes, the use of faceless emails has been one of the tools used most frequently to keep conflicts burning! Too often what a disputant won't (or cannot) say in person is said via email.

Rev. R.  Howell, Cypress CA   03/19/02
#1 Is Questionable
Firstly, it is not always possible to talk to the other party in person or even by phone. My former employer/owner is never in the office, and does not return phone calls. Secondly, sending an email allows one to calm down and say only what needs to be said, and to review/edit it before sending it.

Carol , Renton WA   01/08/02
E-mail to boss and back
I feel that E-mails are not very personal, but in my case, I need to have everything in writing from my boss. He has a tendency to change things mid way if they aren't going the way he wants them and blame it on the employee. So at least I have something in writing to refer back too.

Maggie , Durham NC   01/01/02
I heartily agree with Point #1. Here's why...
I love email, but this and other types of written communication can be false friends. Many of us depend on email partly to avoid conflict. Email, however, can create reactions the ferocity of which can surprise the senders. These types of messages are much more likely to aggravate tensions than build collaboration. The amount of time people believe they are saving by using email is often not an economy when compared to the time and effort it takes to repair the resulting damage. A more constructive (but often scarier) approach is to work out the problem in person. Writings require special care because they are long-lived, causing greater harm than speech because of their permanence --- people reread negative email, getting angrier about what we thought was an emotionally cool comment. Writings lack the nonverbal info that we provide constantly and unconsciously when we speak. It also deprives us of the chance to immediately explain what we mean in response to the other person's reaction. Other pitfalls are that it can be easily forwarded to those you didn’t intend, addressed to the wrong person, and subpoenaed. I've had a lot of experience in dealing with unintended disasters created by the way people use email. My presentations include the same advice as Point #1. Some people react at first the way John did, but then change their minds. And managers sometimes protest that want to document what they tell an employee, but I suggest giving the information verbally at first, and then follow up in writing. People _hate_ getting nastygrams out of the blue. Don't you?

Dr. Spike Boydell, Suva, Republic of Fiji Islands     11/29/01
I also disagree with the first point. In my experience the spoken word provokes reaction, whereas the written word promotes contemplation. However, I do concur that emails are not always the most appropriate written medium. Unfortunately all too often people press the 'send' button without taking the same care to review, refine and reflect on the content that they would in formal paper borne correspondence.

John , Winnetka CA     11/28/01
I don't agree with point #1
Wow. I disagree with Ms. Albright's contention that one should share negative emotions only in person or on the phone. She says that "Emails, answering machine messages, and notes are too impersonal for the delicate nature of negative words." I will certainly take her words under consideration, yet it is the impersonal and "cool" nature of writing which allows one to communicate calmly, completely, and rationally. Whenever I get verbal with my wife, it is a forum for misunderstanding, argument, and irrationality. It's pretty hard to "argue" rashly with someone in writing, (but not impossible, as "flame wars" on the internet attest.) But verbal exchange can quickly become explosive, words are often spoken hastily without thinking first of their true implications! It is so easy to speak before you think, reflexively. But in the writing process, one must always think and compose one's words carefully. Thanks for reading this.

Daniel M King Sr, Dublin GA     09/09/01
Thoughtful. Use of these tips will be helpful in communication re conflictual matters. Well worthy of consideration by seasoned and proficient communicators and novices.