35 Masterful Quotes to Inspire Healthier Workplace Relationships

Conflict in your workplace? Handle it using negotiation skills, patience and a healthy dose of emotional intelligence.

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By Susan Steinbrecher


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Conflict is a perfectly normal and natural phenomenon of the human condition. Learning how to handle conflict, however -- rather than avoid it -- is central to building and maintaining all relationships.

Related: 4 Strategies to Improve How You Deal With Conflict

What you need here are negotiation skills, patience and a healthy dose of emotional intelligence. Handling conflict in your workplace also requires that you remain objective, avoid assumptions and pre-conceived notions, and be particularly mindful about blaming others. I have always maintained that when you see a "victim" and a "villain" in every scenario, you'll see no peace.

Instead, practice a heart-centered approach to conflict resolution. That approach, more often than not, can turn negative experiences into positive outcomes. Indeed, you can take more control of the outcome than you might think. Consider what some big names, both past and present (and some unknown) have had to say about conflict:

1. "Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." -- George Bernard Shaw

2. "Don't talk unless you can improve the silence." -- Jorge Luis Borges

3. "You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love." -- Cheryl Strayed

4. "There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it or leave it. If you can't accept it, change it. If you can't change it, leave it." -- Unknown author

5. "We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things and sometimes taking things too personally." -- The Dalai Lama

6. "To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens." -- Unknown Author

7. "Today . . . spend more time with people who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you." -- Unknown Author

8. "You can't control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen." -- Kody Keplinger

9. "Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution." -- Deepak Chopra

10. "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up." -- Jesse Jackson

11. "The quieter you become, the more you can hear." -- Ram Dass

12. "It can be hard to forgive and let go, but it's important to remember that harboring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word 'forgive' really means to give something up for yourself, not for them." -- Jack Canfield

13. "The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" -- Arab proverb

14. "When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm." -- Dan Heist

15. "You have to accept the fact that some people are never going to be for you. Treat them with respect, but you don't need their approval to fulfill your destiny." --Joel Osteen

16. "When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears." -- Anthony Robbins

17. "Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace." -- Unknown Author

Related: How Leaders Can Best Manage Conflict Within Their Teams

18. "Happiness depends on what you can give, not on what you can get." -- Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati

19. "Let go of the people who dull your shine, poison your spirit and bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues." -- Steve Maraboli

20. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise." -- Shannon L. Alder

21. "You can't see it now, but that thing you didn't get will someday be the best thing you never had. Let it go. Better is coming." -- Mandy Hale

22. "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." -- Henri Matisse

23. "Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer." -- Denis Waitley

24. "There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away from these people. The battle they're fighting isn't with you, it's with themselves." -- Rashida Rowe

25. "Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change." -- Peace Pilgrim

26. "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right." -- Marianne Williamson

27. "Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it." -- Lou Holtz

28. "Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or holding on." -- Eckhart Tolle

29. "Anger is a feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind." -- Evan Esar

30. "Conflict cannot survive without your participation." -- Wayne Dyer

31. "There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them." -- Phyllis Bottome

32. "To solve our most difficult problems, we must radically change our thinking." -- Stephen Covey

33. "Take a deep breath. Get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second." -- Greg McKeown

34. "Every person in this life has something to teach me -- and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening." -- Catherine Doucette

35. "Conflict is the beginning of consciousness." -- M. Esther Harding

Related: 7 Ways to Turn Team Conflict Into Healthy Discussion

Susan Steinbrecher

Leadership Consultant and Author

Susan Steinbrecher is CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates in Hurst, Texas, and serves as a management consultant, executive coach, licensed mediator, speaker and leadership advisor. She is the co-author of Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well and wrote KENSHO: A Modern Awakening.

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