In an organization, confrontations are inevitable. There is always something or someone that needs to be addressed; however, these confrontations tend to veer off at a tangent and turn into angry or aggressive conflicts. With productive clashes, there is a diversity of thought, improved decision making, healthy boundaries are developed, and employees come up with fresh and innovative approaches. All these things are essential in the growth of an organization. In this piece, we’re going to take a look at how we can make confrontations effective and not turn to screaming matches with casualties at the end:
Prepare in your mind
Before you confront the person, you need first to think it out. First, establish what your thoughts and feelings are and then narrow down on the real issue that needs addressing. Identify the things that might escalate the discussion or that aren’t essential. Afterward, come up with the best way to approach the person based on their mindset, worldview, values, and preferences and know what you are going to say in advance.
Don’t forget to imagine what may be dear to the other individual over this issue. Place yourself in their shoes and think about their response, and prepare yourself for this. Additionally, come up with a resolution that may be ideal for the two of you.
Choose the stage
Find a safe environment to hold the meeting. For example, don’t demand a confrontation in public. See the person privately, ask for their permission to talk about the issue and agree on a suitable time to do this.
When addressing the issue, be soft on the person. Broach the subject with a lot of respect, care, and compassion. First assure the person that you are committed to the relationship, acknowledge all the good things that are going well with the relationship and then bring in your view of a need to address the issue.
To control your emotions, you can role-play with a friend. Afterward, brainstorm with them on alternative ways you can confront the person.
When you face the other party, let the opening statement be in an unemotional and factual manner. Once you deliver it, stop talking. Allow the other person to speak and listen to what they have to say. Own your feelings and beliefs and avoid bringing others into the issue.
The confrontation should be an open and honest discussion about what the two of you want and need. It’s normal that the two of you might be miles apart. On your side, get your facts right. Be sure of what you want and what your rights are but be open to alternatives if possible. Also, don’t take anything personally.
Be willing to settle on a joint resolution
Don’t have a preformed idea of what you expect the outcome to be. Be open to potential alternatives and solutions, and focus on both of your wants and needs. Go into the confrontation with the belief that you can find some middle ground that will satisfy both of you.
In conclusion, not all confrontations might end positively, but with those steps, you should end up on an outcome that is satisfying to both parties.