How to Confront With Skill
Few people really like to, or feel comfortable with confronting issues directly. This discomfort usually comes from not really knowing how to confront the conflict situation without making it worse. I completely understand that concern. Still, we have to learn how to confront with skill if we want to resolve conflicts and build relationships.
This lens offers specific communication tips you can use to confront skillfully to resolve conflicts quickly.
Photo courtesy of www.sxc.hu
Conflicts never get resolved by ignoring them and hoping that they go away.
Someone has got to do the courageous thing and confront the issue. The someone can be you.
Learn to Practice Assertive Communication
Assertive communication lies in the middle zone between aggressive communication on one extreme and passive communication on the other. When you communicate assertively, you communicate your thoughts, wishes, desires, feelings, and thoughts without stepping on another person. You own your emotions without blaming anyone else for what you feel. You accept responsibility, and you hold other accountable. Unconditional respect for everyone (both you and the other person) forms the foundation for effective and assertive communication.
Assertive Communication Rules
- Use "I" statements.
- Focus on behaviors.
- Keep responses short.
- Monitor your tone of voice.
- Watch non-verbal messages.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Respect the other person.
Assertive Communication Examples - The general flow is: "When you ___, I feel ___."
- "When you speak to me that way, I feel disrespected."
- "When you point at me, I feel threatened."
- "When you raise your voice, I feel afraid."
- "When you slam the door, I feel angry."
Be Specific and Focus on Behaviors
Vague, non-specific statements of impresssions or perceptions don't usually help the situation.
Make sure your comment(s) address a specific, observable behavior so that the other person knows exactly what you're talking about.
What If They Don't Respond Well To The Confrontation?
What if? Does their response really matter?
Your responsibility is to get the conflict out into the open so that it can be resolved. You have no control over the other person. Just do the best you can to find the assertive middle ground between passivity and aggression. Then, let the "chips fall where they may."
Here's a possible outcome to your confrontation statement.
They might say, "Well, you shouldn't feel/think that."
You can say, "You may be right, and I still feel the way I feel. Thank you for listening."
If you continue to respectfully confront issues without getting drawn in to an angry or overly emotional response, most people will start to get the point and respect your position. Some won't. Most will.
A Personal Note
Yes, I know it's uncomfortable. It is for me as well. It's still good to know how to confront skillfully.
Some Sites You Can Check Out
- Executive Leadership Coaching
Tips, techniques and insights from an executive leadership coach for business leaders of all kinds.
- Principle Driven Consulting
This is my website.
- Resolving Conflict in Teams Blog
My old blog.
- Conflict Zen Blog
Great ideas, concepts, and tips for resolving conflict.
- An Interview With Gus Lee
This link goes to a podcast of an interview done with Gus Lee. He is the author of Courage: The Backbone of Leadership (recommended below). He has a great message and a great way to confront conflicts.
- Free DISC Profile
Take this Free DISC Personality Test to give you insights into your own behaviors so that you can control yourself better when you confront other people.
- DISC Personality Testing
If you want even more detailed insights about your behavior style, take this complete DISC personality profile test.
- Resolving Conflicts in the Workplace
Get this audio program to learn the top 7 secrets to personal workplace conflict resolution.