Disagreements are a natural part of working with other people because we're all different. One of the great things about a group is that people come together from a range of backgrounds and bring lots of different perspectives and ideas.

However sometimes disagreement can turn into conflict. This happens when people start to feel threatened by each other and get stressed and sometimes angry.

 

Take a break

If you're feeling this way, it's important for both you and the other person or people to take some time out and think things through, perhaps with someone you trust. This will help stop the situation escalating and you can come back to your disagreement when you're feeling calmer about it. Take a look at some of the ideas on the Looking After Yourself page for things you could do to decrease your stress.

 

Talk things through

When you come back together with the other person or people, you might like to talk things through again. It would be best if someone else could be there who doesn't feel strongly either way about your conflict . They could help make sure you both get an opportunity to say what you need to say, suggest when you might need to take breaks and maybe spot a way forward that you hadn't thought of.

When you're talking things through with the other person, try to:

  • Understand where they're coming from, even if you don't agree
  • Be respectful, gentle and polite - make sure you both read the Time to Change Working Together Agreement before you start
  • Remember that the other person is feeling stressed and threatened too, even if it's hard to see
  • Find a compromise together that gives both of you something of what you want
  • Avoid punishing the other person or living in the past - this can be hard if you feel angry or resentful, but you'll need to move past the conflict if you're going to work together in the future
  • Be aware of and respect the other person's difference from you and their right to think and feel things that aren't what you think and feel

Things get easier with time and by finding a solution together you'll be able to concentrate on what unites you going forward - being a Time to Change Champion and passionate about changing the way people think and act about mental health. Good luck!