How do you deal with injustice

This is how successful people deal with injustices at work

Imagine your colleague presenting a project to the assembled team as his merit, even though you have done most of the work. Or imagine that all the unpleasant tasks that nobody wants to do stick to you all the time.

In moments like these, one thought springs to mind: This is unjust!

Nobody likes to be treated unfairly. It's hurtful and angry. Responding impulsively, however, can have worse consequences for your career than you might think.

Study shows: This strategy helps in dealing with conflict and injustice

"Injustice triggers strong negative emotional reactions and influences our decisions," write researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of Lübeck in a study. "These decisions can not only have negative effects on us and the person who treated us unfairly, but can even affect innocent third parties." when we feel we have been treated unfairly.

It turned out that a fairly simple method can have a big impact: writing letters.

Indeed, great people have used this method, as Dale Carnegie writes in his book How to Make Friends: The Art of Becoming Popular and Influential: Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain let their anger run wild in peppered letters. However, the recipients never got to see these letters - whether intentionally or unintentionally (Mark Twain's wife secretly made the letters disappear from the mail).

Even today, it is still recommended that the recipient never see the letter. Because this method is about something different: if you express your emotions in a letter, it will be easier for you to look at the whole thing from a new and more neutral point of view.

The first step in conflict resolution starts with you

In an interview with Business Insider Germany, mediator Stephanie Huber emphasizes how important it is not to let your emotions guide you. Of course, that's easier said than done. Therefore, their advice is: Make yourself aware that nobody does anything without a reason.

“When there is injustice, there is always a reason. And if someone yells at me, for example, that is their subjective point of view - in that moment they are convinced that they have a reason to yell at me. ”What we consider right and wrong may be very different with the other person. This can vary from person to person due to factors such as culture and upbringing. “Our parents taught us what is right and what is wrong. Maybe the boss learned at home that screaming is good and liberating for him, and that he'll be fine after five minutes when he starts yelling. The employees maybe not. "

Making yourself aware of this does not solve the basic problem, but it may help to create a little more acceptance and to regulate your emotions. If that doesn't work, you can always try the letter method.

Find the right words in a conflict - that's how it works

When both sides have calmed down, the clarifying conversation can take place. “Basically speaking to someone is always a good method,” recommends Huber. Here are two rules that you should adhere to.

Rule number one: Avoid generalizations like “you are always late” or “you are never on time”. They are unconstructive and will not get you anywhere. If you come across these phrases, Stephanie Huber advises you to question them with concrete questions. The question “Okay, when exactly was I late?” Forces your interlocutor to think and interrupts his negative train of thought.

Also read: With these 6 sentences you can defuse any dispute immediately

The second rule is to use a small word that has a big impact: "because“. 

"Yes, that's right, I was late yesterday. I regret that too, sorry. I came too late, because... “The indication of a reason helps your counterpart to understand what moved you. A study by Ellen Langer of Harvard University shows that 94 percent of the time, this word means that you will be successful with your cause.

Conflict-shy people in particular might find it difficult to take the step of having a clarifying conversation. But you mustn't forget: You don't solve problems by being silent - any more than by impulsive, emotional reactions.