We’ve all been there. A coworker has done or said something that caused you grief and now you're faced with a conflict at work. Seeing someone every day can stir up all sorts of agitations, but there are ways to get your point across in an argument without destroying a professional relationship. Here are three steps on how to properly approach the situation without problems.
1) Don't Argue Against the Person
Your main objective in any argument should be to argue against someone's point, not the person themselves. When you attack someone personally, emotions get involved and it can lead to worse conflicts. It also makes you look unprofessional. Focus on why you think their point is invalid and prove to them why yours is right. If they turn to personal insults, never retaliate. Always remain calm and finish getting your point across.
2) Know Your Facts
Facts are the solid key to winning any debate. Do your research beforehand and use data, if possible, to firmly back up your claims. Nothing can hurt your argument more than when someone calls you out for stating something that is completely false. Only report what you know to be true and it will make it harder for someone to discredit you.
3) Get Them to Define Their Stance
Take a moment and listen to what your coworker is saying. Knowing where he or she stands will make it easier to understand their point of view, but also give you the upper hand if they begin to deviate from that point. If they cannot keep their story straight, you can single out their inconsistencies and come a step closer to closing the argument. Also understanding where your coworker is coming from can help you find a resolution in a peaceful way and maintain a positive relationship.
Remember, getting into arguments can happen to the best of us. You want to always be sure you present yourself in a polite and professional manner no matter what others throw at you. Yes, coworkers can be unbearable at times, but they are also human trying the best they can. The right thing to do is to show them respect and never burn any bridges.