6 ways to cool a workplace argument

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No matter where you work, you’re bound to meet coworkers with different personalities and work styles. As a result, there may be times when you need to work through opinions that differ. Sometimes you may be faced with a heated argument. But, this type of situation doesn’t have to get worse.


Learn how to calm an upset coworker with these tips from the Society for Human Resource Management:

1.  Remain calm. Yelling and unprofessional behavior doesn’t help anyone find a solution. It could escalate and end up out of control.

2.  Try to understand what the other person is saying. Look at them calmly and let them talk. Follow up by asking them to explain more if needed.

3.  Use “I” statements, such as “I feel disappointed that this project isn’t going well.” Rather than, “You aren’t doing a good job on this project.” Focus on behaviors or problems, not people.

4. Discuss solutions to the problem. Write them down on paper or a white board if needed.

5.  Make sure everyone agrees on the solution.

6.  If an agreement can’t be reached, decide if you can “agree to disagree” on the issue. If that’s not an option, consider involving a neutral third person or a human resources staff member if needed.


Knowing how to resolve conflict in the workplace is a valuable skill you can use throughout your life. Staying calm and collected in a tense situation gives you the ability to find a productive, positive solution.

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