In order to keep cool, calm and level headed, it may be necessary to take a break from your conversation. This is especially the case if you’re feeling overwhelmed and angry and can no longer keep your original objectives at the heart of your conversation.
Often, the longer that you remain in a heated conversation, the further your conversation will stray from the key points which you’re meant to discuss. When this happens, it is a clear sign that you may need to take a quick break in order to regather your thoughts and composure.
If possible, go for a quick 20-minute walk outside in order to clear your head and to think about your key objectives and your desired outcome. If you are interested in argument avoidance as well as conflict management, in many cases you may be able to avoid conflict, by knowing when to walk away before a situation escalates into a full-blown argument.
If a free-form conversation is not doing the trick, then adding more structure might help you resolve a conflict more successfully. One way of doing this is to have each person rank their objectives by asking, “What would you like to get out of this conversation?”
This not only helps you understand where everyone stands, but it also forces you to stop for a moment and realize that all of your own objectives do not have the same importance. This can help take you out of your head and make it easier for you to come to a resolution.
Remember: If you focus on championing every single minor issue as if it were a top priority, you will likely not be able to resolve anything. Instead, focus on addressing your top three objectives. This will help to significantly increase your chances of negotiating a deal that you’re happy with.