>Research tells us that more than 80% of those surveyed on the topic of confrontation say they would rather avoid it than deal with it. Actually, only less than 5% of the population is willing to take confrontational issues head on. The reason for this unwillingness to deal with confrontation is quite simply stated: a fear of creating negative feelings or receiving a negative, aggressive reaction from the confronted person. We don’t want to upset anyone even if we have to pay a price for not addressing the issues.
Consider this approach to minimize the negative feelings and actions. Foremost, guide yourself in the confrontation by a commitment to maintain mutual self esteem. Then, I try to use the following principles and apply them in a positive environment when carrying out a confrontation in order to resolve issues.
- It is imperative to believe in yourself and what you are initiating the confrontation about.
- Make a commitment to distance the performance of the person from his/her character.
- Be solution driven. Express yourself in terms of the outcome you desire. Anyone can blather on about the problem.
- Make certain that you speak in the present not the past. You are looking for behavior to change and you can’t change the past.
- Make certain that both you and the other person have the same understanding of what brought the confrontation on in the first place and what the expectations for the solutions are. Then, make a mutual commitment to follow through.
- Make sure that you are ready to support the other person in their attempts to meet the expectations set forth.
- Complete the confrontation exchange with compliments.
A final thought, praise and reprimand in private. Be selective on using either in public, because either can create uncertainty or jealousy in the workplace or within the team.