In last week’s blog I shared the first five of ten keys to confronting well. Have you had an opportunity to practice those principles in a confrontation? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Confrontation can be a scary proposition, but when you learn to do it well it can be the key to resolving differences and strengthening trust in your relationships. Here are the last five keys to confronting well.
- Express your thoughts and feelings
Expressing what you feel openly and honestly at the outset of a difficult conversation will help to reduce anxiety and diffuse pent up emotion that might otherwise escalate during the discussion. For example, stating, “I am angry” will actually help prevent anger from controlling your responses.
- Remember that it’s far better to be respected than to be liked
Although the person you are confronting may not like what you have to say, if you appropriately communicate your concerns, they are much more likely to respect you and be willing to cooperate with you to resolve the conflict.
- Keep your emotions, especially anger, under control
Increased volume and hostility are never good substitutes for reason and self-control. Ask for a time out if you feel yourself beginning to boil over with emotions.
- Clearly state what you want or need
When confronting an issue, people are often quick to identify what they don’t want, but tend to forget to clearly communicate what they do want. Remember, if what you want or need is understood, you are more likely to get it.
- Keep your expectations realistic
Unmet expectations lead to disappointment, so keep them realistic, both for yourself and the one you are confronting. This may involve compromising in order to achieve agreement.
Next time you must have a difficult conversation, keep these ten keys handy and refer to them to be sure you are staying on track.
Are any of these keys difficult for you? If so, why? If you’re a supervisor, how would these keys help when you must confront a problem with an employee? How would it help if you have an issue to discuss with your spouse or another family member? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Live, Work and Relate Well!
Dr. Linaman is a psychologist and executive coach providing counseling and professional development services to individuals, couples, work teams and organizations.