How Do You Handle Confrontation?

First, let’s look at what confrontation is exactly.

Per Merriam Webster, the full definition of confrontation is:

the act of confronting: the state of being confronted: as 
a: a face-to-face meeting 
b: the clashing of forces or ideas: conflict 
c: comparison: the flashbacks bring into meaningful confrontation present and past, near and far

It appears that our culture has made confrontation out to being a bad thing. It’s merely having a difference of opinion with someone and discussing it. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. I invite you to look at why having a “difficult” conversation is hard for you. If you dig deep enough, you will likely find it comes down to caring what others think of you and / or being afraid of losing the relationship.

It’s just business. I remember a mentor giving me this advice once, an angel therapist actually, and it was some of the best advice I’ve ever received. We’re not in business to make friends. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be respectful, but it does mean that you shouldn’t be looking for your business to fulfill a personal need. Of course you should enjoy who you do business with, and that’s the fun part, but not at the expense of not running your business properly. It’s a slippery slope when you hire friends or people with the intention of filling a personal void. So when you need to make a tough decision or have a difficult conversation, remember it is just business. Uphold yourself to the highest level of integrity and treat others with respect, and that is all that is required.

Don’t take things personally. Realize not everything is about you. Who knows what is going on in the personal life of someone else. Not everything that is said or communicated is about you. A lot of times people are merely projecting on to you what is going on inside their heads. If you stop taking things personally, you will realize that not everything is about you. People are caught-up in their own drama, along with their own fear, doubt and worry. It’s not about you. Stay unattached.

Respond not react. Instead of reacting, meaning responding to the situation right away in a negative way, take some time to breathe and then respond. You may even need to sleep on it in order to see it clearly, and then decide on the accurate response. If you’re feeling angry or emotionally triggered in some way, make yourself refrain from reacting. Take the time you need to be able to respond with a clear mind. The person can wait. Just because something is asked of you, it doesn’t mean you have to deal with it right away. Check in what that happens and ask yourself, “whose rules are those anyway”? If you do feel the need to respond right away, but are still fired up, just indicate you are thinking about it and will get back to them once you’ve thoroughly thought it through. Provide a date if necessary.

Pick-up the phone. I can’t tell you how many times I have emailed someone back instead of picking-up the phone. Email and texting does not work. It’s much too hard to read the tone over email. People (myself included), have big cojones over email. It’s easy to hide behind words. This also invites hostile, reactive, sometimes explosive, communication. Instead of responding via email, pick-up the phone. You will find it much more civilized to have a conversation about the issue. You will find that people are much more open to working things out via this type of communication. What I’ve also found is the situation is no longer as scary as seemed to be. It’s about having an adult conversation in a civilized manner. Things are much more apt to work out in a positive way, even if it means ending a business relationship, if dealt with by phone or in-person.

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