Confrontation 101: Which Path Will You Take?

Written by on May 21, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Confrontation: “a face-to-face meeting; the clashing of forces or ideas”

Fear of confrontation often stems from fear of the other’s parties reaction. Will they get angry? Will they not like us anymore? Will they get their feelings hurt? Due to these fears, behaviors that are unacceptable to us quite often go unchecked.

The predictable and unfortunate results being:

  • Our needs become neglected
  • Harmful resentment builds
  • Damage to the relationship accumulates (as in loss of productivity, ect.)

To avoid these pitfalls we must develop effective confrontation skills for those times when co-workers and employees act in ways that are in conflict with our levels of acceptance.

First we must begin by accepting that confrontation is is a request for change. There will be an element of threat to the person we are requesting this change in, and therefore, will require an element of courage on our part.

Second, we must acknowledge that confrontation can result in a “conflict of needs,” which is something that all leaders should recognize and can learn about in a good leadership-training program.

Unfortunately, society has taught us that confrontation is blameful, punishing and results from a desire to control a person, place or thing. But there are skills that are taught in leadership training programs that take the sting out of confrontation and can even strengthen relationships.

This infographic outlines two very different approaches to confrontation, which wil you choose the next time you are faced with behavior that you need to see changed?

Author Michelle Adams is Vice President of Gordon Training International and a long time student of their leadership training classes. 

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