Personally I am not much into confrontation. I am a happy guy who likes to believe the best in everyone. Sometimes though, you have to bite the bullet and confront an issue with another human. Here are some things that will make it go better for both sides of the situation.

  • Do it privately, not publicly. Praise in public – confront in private.

Be considerate of the person’s feelings. You would not want someone else to call you out in front of everyone. Give them the same respect you would want.

  • Do it as soon as possible. Don’t wait. It will become worse when it has time to fester and build. Do stop and think clearly of what the issue is and why it is important to you. Think before you speak comes to mind here.
  • One issue at a time. A long laundry list makes things confusing and waters down the original issue. Focus! Stay on task!
  • Make the point. Be clear and concise. Think it through. Don’t beat the dead horse. Then, stop and listen.
  • Work with an issue or action the person can change. Bringing up something that they have no control over will just be wasting time and belittle them. Seek solutions.
  • Sarcastic remarks are out. When we do this we are saying the issue is about the person not the action. This will cause heated reactions and the conversation will move out of control quickly. If this happens, STOP and apologize and start again. Frustration is never an excuse.
  • The words “Never” and “Always” will promote the fight or flight response. Stay away from them at all costs. Seldom are they actually true.
  • Ask, “How can I help?” You will be surprised how this will defuse the situation and work towards building the relationship.
  • Do not say you are sorry for this confrontation. You are not. If it was not important, you would not do it nor did you cause it.
  • Compliment – Confront – Compliment, This method is called the Confrontational Sandwich. It works. Practice it.

I want to end this conversation with this: This skill is important in every relationship we have. The people who you live with and those you are surrounded by deserve your very best.

Earth Wind Fire Water Training and Development

Dick Powell – Leadership Wrangler



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