Knowing how to confront someone is an important skill. You can use it at work and at home. It’s something that’s good to know whenever you’re in a social situation.
Control your emotions
One of the risks in confronting another person is that the situation might become personal. You want to be able to air things constructively. You don’t want the situation to deteriorate into a verbal tussle. If things heat up and tempers flare, then the confrontation won’t make things better.
Keep in mind that you’re looking to improve future interactions. So, before you confront the person, look for ways to be calm. Breathe, relax and get into a positive frame of mind. During the confrontation, constantly remind yourself to stay calm and think rationally.
Think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Give yourself enough time before the confrontation to think this through. If you enter the situation with a plan, it’s less likely you’ll lose your cool. You’ll also feel and look more confident about what you have to say.
While you’re planning, think about specific examples to back up your statements. The other person might get defensive when confronted. He might try to deny that your grievances are real. However, denial becomes more difficult if you can cite specific dates or even show emails.
Avoid written confrontation
If you’re afraid to confront someone, it can be tempting to send an email. This is something to be avoided if possible. When you confront someone face to face, you are both able to view facial expressions. You can see each other’s body language and gestures.
This non-verbal communication is absent in an email or text message. It’s much easier to have a misunderstanding when communicating in written form. For example, even if you were not being sarcastic, the reader might think you are. This can lead to even larger problems because unintentionally, feelings get hurt.
Talk to the person alone
Ideally, you should confront the person while you are in a private setting. You could meet in an office or conference room. Or if the person is willing, you could meet somewhere neutral like a coffee shop. The idea here is to get the person alone so it’s just you two.
That way, it becomes more likely for the communication to be open. The problem with talking in front of others is that the person might become defensive. He might feel embarrassed at the thought of being reprimanded in front of colleagues. This could lead to an ineffective confrontation.
Confrontations are difficult situations to handle. That’s why many people avoid them. But if you keep these tips handy, you should be able to handle confrontations better. And that can lead to a more peaceful workplace or home.