Confrontation…Avoid It? Or Afraid Of It?

Confrontation.  Ahhh…most of us would agree, that we all prefer to avoid confrontation.  I don’t know of too many people that get excited when they know they have to confront someone, or something.  Nevertheless, sometimes it is unavoidable.

So, let me be very clear.  Is your issue with confrontation that you avoid it?  Or are you afraid of it?  Believe me, there is a difference.

If you fall under the category of one that avoids confrontation, I can totally understand where you’re coming from.  As leaders, many times we prefer to find solutions that avoid those awkward confrontations rather than, as we like to say, “deal with it head on”.  Perhaps there is a compromise.  Maybe just wait things out.  Let nature run it’s course.  For the passive natured folks out there, if the problem can be solved while avoiding any major confrontation, the better off we feel about it.

However, there are times, when confrontation cannot be avoided.  And this is where we have to become comfortable enough with confrontation, that while we prefer to avoid it, we’re not afraid of it.  When we’re afraid of having a confrontation, then most likely we are admitting to defeat, or at least lowering our expectations.  Again, I never said that you had to like confrontation, my point to you today is that you just can’t be afraid of it.

Here are some common misconceptions:

  1. If I avoid confrontation, the problem will go away on it’s own
  2. If I avoid confrontation, no one will even notice that there’s a problem
  3. If I avoid confrontation, someone else will take care of the problem
  4. If I have to confront someone, that person will no longer like me
  5. If I have to confront someone, I have to be defensive
  6. Confrontation is only a last resort

I think by viewing confrontation as something positive, rather than something negative, our whole approach in problem solving will drastically change.

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