Mark Gerzon drew on 20 years of experience of conflict management in his article in Harvard Business Review back in June 2014, in which he explored the concept that before you can start to resolve a conflict you need to first establish whether to conflict is Hot or Cold.
Mark defines "Hot" as "when one or more parties are highly emotional and doing one or more of the following: speaking loudly or shouting; being physically aggressive, wild or threatening; using language that is incendiary; appearing out of control and potentially explosive."
"Cold" he defines as "when one or more parties seem to be suppressing emotions, or actually appear “unemotional,” and are doing one or more of the following: muttering under their breath or pursing their lips; being physically withdrawn or controlled; turning away or otherwise deflecting contact; remaining silent or speaking in a tone that is passively aggressive; appearing shut down or somehow frozen."
He goes on to explore specific strategies for dealing effectively with each possibility. To read the full article visit: