Few things make grown men quiver more than thought of confrontation. Occasionally, there will be some guy who broadcasts, “I am not afraid of confrontation; I tackle it head on.” More often than not, this is the guy that does more damage than the proverbial bull in the China store.
For most of us, confrontation comes with a number of fears and is therefore avoided. We then begin the “Sumo Wrestler Dance.” Rather than handling the issue, we just circle issues and people at a distance. We keep our eye on the situation, but at a safe distance. Do you know the dance?
10 Reasons people avoid confrontation:
- Struggling with the same problem
- Possibility of losing friendships
- Memories of bad past confrontations
- Easier to make up for them
- Afraid it will come across as an attack
- Thinking it will not make a difference
- Lack of communication skills/don’t know how to confront
- Hopes the problem will solve it self
- “Knowing” how it will play out
- It will be taken personal/turn defensive
Experience tells us that these are poor confrontations are not only a possibility, but a probability.
Counter your confrontation fears for a moment:
- What difference does that make? There is still a problem.
- Is the current situation not already taxing your friendship?
- Is it best for the kid who falls off his bicycle to just take up crochet?
- Is it easier? How many teammates can you do this for?
- Is it an attack? Not if you focus on the behavior, rather than the person.
- Have you ever changed due to confrontation?
- Do you think you will develop skills by never using them?
- Do problems usually solve themselves?
- Can you really know? Does that even change your responsibility?
- If you are leading the conversation, can’t you refocus it?
Confrontation is a necessary part of life. We will be confronted and be given opportunities to help others grow through confrontation. The question is, what is holding you back?
Would a series on “how to confront” be helpful?