Interested in becoming a better employee—or want better employees yourself? Fast Company asked ten professionals how to attain this goal, and I was happy to share my advice. I strive to improve how I manage conflict. Whenever more than one person is involved in a project, there are going to be differences. How those differences are handled can make a huge difference in the project and business’ success. Find out what’s causing the issue before diving in to tackle it.

For many, it’s common to try and fix things right away (before even figuring out what’s wrong!). This response might be emotional, or stem from a previous poor experience. Groups can lack compromise, or it might be an issue of different perspectives. I always try to pinpoint the cause first so I can better assess a solution. Remember: Conflict is a kind of energy.

Other tips I like include sending more (personal) emails and improving your social media game. Communication is more critical than ever now that it’s largely digital. We don’t get tone, body language, or all those other non-verbal cues.

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