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Skilled Confrontation

communication-in-relationshipsConfrontation has long been defined as something negative, where people are told how poorly they are doing and how they are not meeting your expectations. It is true that a confrontation is meant for change, but we need to seriously change our approach. I hope that you are someone that has become so skilled in communication that the one you are meeting with doesn’t equate the word confrontation with what takes place, and instead walks away saying, “That was such a great conversation, I look forward to meeting with you again!”

The first thing you will need to do is take all emotion out of the conversation. I know you might be hurt and possibly feel that the other person is either taking advantage of you, doesn’t appreciate you, understand you, etc. One perspective I like to take is to treat the upcoming confrontation as a challenge with your self. See how well you can improve your communication skills and achieve your goals. Which brings us to our next step, make sure you have your goals clearly outlined. If you need to write them down and bring them with you please do! It will help you stay focused and will show the person that you are meeting with that you have clearly thought about this. This applies to any relationship whether business or personal.

The words that you choose to use will be very important. So make sure that you have thought out ways to first bless the person with your words. Make sure they feel loved, supported and accepted. This is true even in business, especially if you are about to fire the individual.

I have heard people say, “Well I started the conversation with “I Feel, I don’t know why they are still so upset”.” Honestly, stating I Feel does not work in a confrontation, it quickly places you in a bad position because now the conversation is all about how you feel, a selfish perspective, not about what is happening, what needs to happen or what has happened. When you begin with a humble, grateful and understanding approach you are more likely to be heard.

Another important perspective to keep in mind is to Assume Innocence. If we are going to assume anything when talking with someone, then assume that they have no idea what you are upset about, or what you want.

Next explain your need, get specific. It is not enough to say, “I need a raise” or “we just aren’t getting along.” Specifically state what it is you need from the person you are confronting.

Last and also important is the timing and setting. Don?t confront someone by text or email, and make sure your timing is convenient for him or her. Set up a date, time and location to meet, even if that location must be by phone.

When your conversation has ended it is my hope that goals have been made clear and change has begun!