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Saving Relationships – Step #8 – Confrontation vs. Conversation

January 21, 2014 0 Comments

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The messages from well meaning leadership gurus on how to develop ourselves as people has been somewhat confusing.

 

We’ve all heard things like:
-Assert yourself or you’ll never get anywhere.
-Don’t avoid conflict 

-When there is a problem confront things head on

– Do what is necessary to get the problem solved


For today, let’s just talk about confrontations.                  In business it is necessary. If you manage people or are interested in growing a business problems must be addressed and corrected. Good leaders know that approaching an issue rather the person’s character produces the best results – the problem gets fixed and no damage is done to the relationship.  Why is it that in families we fail at this?!  I recently had a client whose wife told him that if he treated her like he did his employees they wouldn’t have any problems! How sad, but he agreed it was true.
Leaders, like my client, almost always do a little mental prep before they act. . . thinking about what they want the outcome to be and the best approach for the fasted resolve.  They know that getting people’s feelings involved will only draw out the process and make the situation messier.  Therefore they allow time to hear about the situation from the other’s perspective. They listen attentively and help them both stay focussed on the goal. If we could apply this technique with our loved ones we’d all be a lot happier.

Think this approach in marriage (or families) is cold and manipulative? I’d ask you to give it a try.  Attacking someone’s character might feel good in the moment, but it leaves lasting scars and does nothing to help resolve issues.  If you’d like the outcome to be that of harmony -treating each other with respect, listening attentively and staying focussed on the issue at hand is a great approach. So next time you are feeling the need for a confrontation, try confronting the issue but conversing with the person.

What if we reserved the word “confrontation” for how we deal with issues or problematic situations? Maybe by changing our mindset we could more easily have a nice, polite yet beneficial conversation?

Step #8 -Confront Issues – Politely Converse with People

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