Confrontation-to challenge someone face to face. To most people that word even sounds ugly. Confrontation is not something people enjoy, or even want to think about. There are all kinds of reasons why someone thinks of confrontation as negative. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We don’t like the thought of correcting someone. We are afraid of their response. We think its easier to just let it go.
The truth is confrontation is a wonderful thing. A great opportunity to teach and train, a perfect time to lead. This morning I met with my interns and we discussed this concept. It seemed to help them so i will share this with you.
Here is what I know and have experienced about Confrontation.
1. One of the major differences between leaders who are highly successful and those who are not, is their willingness to confront.
Real leaders will confront issues, people, and problems and deal with them head on. They understand that denial is not an option. Problems whether external or internal do not just go away, they have to be dealt with. Confrontation is key to growing and developing as a person, and an organization.
2. If you want to lead you have to confront.
Confrontation is literally a test of your leadership. If you can’t lead someone through something that needs to change in them, how do you expect to lead something significant. Confrontation is leadership. You are influencing someone to acknowledge the need for change, and helping them to change it, to better themselves and help the team. Thats leadership. You can’t have one without the other. Leadership takes courage and a part of being courageous as a leader is to be excellent at confrontation.
3. Avoiding confrontation is just delaying and ensuring a major conflict.
As stated before, problems, issues, people with problems or issues, don’t just go away, they have to be dealt with. Many people make the mistake of denying the problem. They think, “maybe if I just ignore it, things will get back to normal.” The problem is they don’t. It just festers, gains energy, involves more people and becomes a full blown conflict. Sad part is, it doesn’t have to go there. It could have been confronted, dealt with and everyone moves forward. We think if we just ignore it, people won’t get hurt. The truth is ignoring it is what causes it to grow, and become a conflict, then people do get hurt.
4. You can confront, and It can be done right!
You can confront people’s issues or problems and they love you for it. There is ever only one motivation to confront, and that is because you care for the person you are confronting. You genuinely have their best intrest in mind. The good part is it’s also best for the organization and you personally, but those things can’t be your motive. You must want to confront becuase you care for the person and this will help them grow. That is how you do it right.
5. Jesus was a great confronter.
Read John 4. Jesus confronts the woman at the well. He was a master at helping her realize what needed to change, while caring for her at the same time.
Read John 8. Jesus confronts the religious leaders about their judgmental attitude, and at the same time confronts the woman caught in the act of adultery, all with Love.
There are many more examples. If Jesus lead by confrontation then it is an excellent method.
6. So, How do we do it?
a. Admit it needs to be done.
b. Do it at the right time, sooner than later
c. Pray for God’s wisdom before you confront.
d. Use it as a teaching moment
e. Be positive and caring
f. No hinting or beating around the bush. Get directly to the point.
g. Tell them what they are doing right.
h. Don’t change your behavior towards them. Deal with it, forgive, and let it go
I. Don’t make the meeting long, get it done.
J. Don’t make it a bigger deal than it is. (No Drama)
So Confrontation is not so ugly after all, and it will positively effect your life, and your organization. Do it!