Having an Argument with your spouse/partner or having an argument with a team member in office.


Are the two scenarios any different on how you should handle them?


Recently, I read an article in the Times Of India, Kolkata edition, which talked about how to handle arguments at home. I could immediately relate to the office scenario. After all, the family is our first organization, is it not? So let me share my understanding of how to handle arguments in office based on the article:



  • Timing is everything
    It’s common for emotions to boil over, but it’s up to you to keep your frustration and grievances professional. Wait for the right time and pick an appropriate space that offers you and your colleague privacy to hold the discussion in a healthy way. This will ensure that your voice is heard but  will also ensure that your co-workers are not unnecessarily affected by your feud.


  • Blaming is easy, but finding a solution is key

It is all too easy to deflect accountability from yourself and blame the other person. You’ll be stuck going around the same argument if you constantly keep the ball passing back and forth.  The goal should be to actively work towards finding a way out of the mess by mutually working on the task towards a fair ending.


  • Don’t play foul
    Personal remarks, be it about their family or digging up a past issue is uncalled for in any situation. Instead of resorting to such unacceptable arguments in the heat of the fight, take a moment and remind yourself not to speak when you are not in control of your words. Don’t fire off missiles you can’t take back.

  • But if you do, apologize.

The word sorry-an apology maybe be hard to spell out but can make a big difference. Don’t think of apologizing as belittling yourself – rather, it takes a bigger person to take the initiative of solving the argument and to apologize. In case you do slip up and say something wrong, it is better to apologize and end the matter there instead of waiting for a later time to regret your words.


  • The listener wins
    It’s quite simple to note how many hours of pointless bickering can be avoided if only you listen. Keep your side of the story to yourself for a minute and listen to what they are saying. Everybody deserves a chance to express themselves. If you focus on listening and not imposing your argument on them, then by the time they’ve finished, you can have a logical solution on your hands as well as a newfound understanding of your colleague.

  • Logic is your best friend/weapon/card (you can use any one of these three words)

Losing temper and irrational outbursts are your worst enemies. Logic and rationality may be quieter than loud vociferous quarrels, but there is no doubt of the fact that by using logic you get the job done. On the other hand, by raising your voice, it is unlikely that you will achieve anything but your colleague’s displeasure.

  • Agreeing to disagree is a good enough consensus
    At the end of the day, two people bring two different opinions to the table and both must find a way to make space for the two opinions to co-exist, if there is no clear-cut result. Prioritizing your relationship with your colleague over your feud and differences is the mark of professionalism, tolerance and maturity. The only trophy you’ll be taking away is a good, steady friendship in spite of differing views and mutual respect. This middle ground is the foundation to maintain years of healthy interactions with people.

Do you agree with the similarities that exist in conflict situations both at home and at work? Have you observed any other similarities? I look forward to your observations or comments.