Does the word confrontation raise your blood pressure and heart beat? Would you rather not confront, even though you know you should? Then this post series will hopefully be very helpful to you.
Let us take the drama and fear out of confrontation.
If you would just rather die than confront someone, I know how you feel. I used to be that way. I was such a people pleaser that the very idea of someone being upset with me caused me panic, that was until I learned that confrontation done well is a caring and compassionate thing to do. Let me say it again…
Confrontation done well is a caring and compassionate thing to do.
I was sitting in a training seminar when the trainer first uttered those words. I immediately thought “Huh, yeah right”. But she went on to explain that in our relationships with others, confronting shows that we care and are invested. Confrontation is a natural part of communication.
What if your mom said you should receive her package by Tuesday and Tuesday comes and goes and still no package? What would you? You would call your mom to say that package hasn’t come yet, right? Would you be nervous to call her? Probably not, because you are curious as to what happened to the package. You would pick up the phone and say, “Hey mom, you said the package would arrive on Tuesday. It is Friday and the package isn’t here yet.”
Well you just confronted your mother! It wasn’t scary. No big bald dude had to come jump in between you and your mom. It just naturally happened. If you said that to your mother, she typically wouldn’t rattle you with expletives or throw a chair.
I always tell my clients to confront from a place of curiosity, not accusation. The reason you didn’t get nervous about calling your mom was because you were curious. Your curiosity led you to find out what is going on. That is the mental shift I made to actually see confrontation, not as something to be avoided at all costs, or something that will damage my relationship; but as something that will actually strengthen my relationship over time.
Confrontation is simply a form of feedback. As leaders, I believe the two biggest must-have communication skills is listening and feedback. Feedback is literally feeding something back to a person.
Over the next few posts, I will be giving you food for thought and how to’s on feedback and confrontation. Whether you describe yourself as a confrontation avoid-er, or confrontation lover, you will learn something.
Perhaps you need to learn to season your words with grace. Perhaps you just need to learn to actually say the words. I am going to help you learn:
- How to prepare your feedback, so it tastes good
- What to say
- When to say it
so that you can make this year, the year you take your communication skills to the next level..the next drama free level.
In the meantime, answer this.
Have you ever seen a confrontation go REALLY badly? What happened?