To deal with conflict, think through the reaction you want to give, take time to review the situation, try to put your emotions to the side and consider the outcome you desire. If, for example, you are about to send an angry e-mail reply to someone, then you should stop and think about picking up the phone and asking for a meeting with the person concerned. You should decide on a mutually convenient time, date and location. The meeting place should be in a neutral, private place, not in your office or in the other person’s as this gives a psychological advantage. If a meeting is not possible then consider setting up a telephone conference call to discuss the situation. If these two methods fail then it is best to wait until you can have a face-to-face meeting. If for some reason you feel you have to send an e-mail, first keep it in draft format for a while, think about it and rewrite your draft until it is appropriate to send. In that way you can manage the conflict effectively so that the outcome is a ‘win–win’ situation for both parties.

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