I’ve often been in situations when instead of going towards the goal I started fighting mostly useless fights.
Affected battles appear in different forms. My worst was yelling at a client, which finally resulted in me losing the account, obviously. A very common form of fighting is exchange of heated up emails, especially when this is done with a whole bunch of colleagues in the cc: field.
I have learned somewhere along the way that affection and argumentation don’t mix well. Both are still valid, just separate them. When I am affected, I go silent. I hope. When the mood improves, I come back.
Anyhow, there’s a twist sometimes. Some situations don’t allow for posponement. Your client calls and you have to react immediately. In such cases, be kind, you’re not ready to argue when you’re affected. Try to stall any type of decision, don’t promise anything. Just listen.
Again, what if the other side wants to fight. Among the two obvious solutions, to either run or fight, choose the third one, admit. Admit defeat. Don’t emphasize it, just take the critique. Once your opponent sees that you’re actually taking the blows, he will stop, inadvertently. He would not want to fight if he didn’t see it was worthwhile. So, just let the steam out of the kettle.