It’s never fun or easy being confronted. For many, our instinct is to deny, defend, or deflect what is being put before us. At Fierce, we believe confrontation conversations are healthy and can be rewarding.
However, it does take skill and practice to ensure the conversation is productive and moving the relationship forward.
Below are three tips to help you achieve this.
#1: Take a Breath and Listen
Whether you saw this conversation coming or not, it is normal to have some physiological reaction to it while it is happening. Take a moment and breathe. Literally, deep breath in, deep breath out. Once you’re grounded, resist the inclination to become defensive and focus on listening. This is not easy to do, yet this conversation could be an amazing opportunity to learn something about yourself.
#2: Take Time with the Process
Give yourself and the person confronting you permission to move through this process slowly. If the person confronting you has told you his or her point of view and you need time to think about what has been said, ask for that time and take it. One of the ultimate goals of having a confrontation conversation is to enrich the relationship. Knee jerk reactions can seriously lessen the chance of this happening.
Once you are ready to engage again, put yourself in a curious mindset and seek to truly understand where this person is coming from. If you’re confused about their point of view – ask questions! Clarify, clarify, and clarify. Repeat back to them what you are hearing and ask for confirmation that it is correct. Digging deeper sets you up to fully participate in the conversation.
#3: Realize You May Need to Take Ownership
A question we ask in our Confrontation Model when prepping to confront someone is to identify your contribution to the problem. While the person confronting you may have had more time to think on this, you are probably processing what your contribution is in real time.
Even though it may happen quickly, it is important to be sincere with this part of the conversation.The only way a conflict can be resolved and the relationship can move forward in a positive way, is if both parties are thoughtful as to how they impacted the situation.
Confrontation conversations are emotionally charged situations, and they are very rarely easy. However, healthy relationships include both confrontation and appreciation.
What other tips do you have when being confronted?