Weekly Focus

SF High Performing Teams

Confrontation in the workplace…Ideally don’t get there in the first place!

The dictionary definition of confrontation is “A hostile or argumentative situation or meeting between opposing parties”. For most parts in an office environment, this will be between two people, when more, you may have a problem!

Firstly, it’s important to understand the three main causes of confrontation…

  • Poor communication
  • Personality differences
  • Differing values

In terms of poor communication, this is no different to when you macro this to a corporate level. People not receiving information, selectively receiving information, or muddled and badly timed communication.

While we will all have different personalities, and to larger or smaller cases, what is important is to have sufficient emotional intelligence to understand this and where possible, use to your advantage…Every team needs a mix.

The same applies to differing values, except where this impacts upon the business. For both organisation and individuals to thrive, both values and vision, must be aligned!

The keys are to ensure that any potential disagreements are nipped in the bud. If you have identified a potential issue, you will have done so for a reason. Reflect on this, and if sure act…Delay will only make things worse!

Don’t put things off because the time is not right…It’s an easy excuse to use!

Clear the air…talk honestly. It is highly likely that the other person will respect you for this. It may even be easier than you think and the relationship will more often than not, improve! When you have the conversation, be honest and don’t use fluffy talk! This does not allow carte-blanche to confront someone…Purely being open and honest in your style…Similarly the body language employed.

Be assertive…not passive, neither aggressive. People enjoy being around assertive people. Confident in what they are saying but also respecting the rights of others. It could prove to be simpler than you think. Once done, your own confidence will also improve.

“Remember, confrontation is about reconciliation and awareness, not judgement or anger.”
Dale Partridge