Strategies for Positive and Effective Confrontations in the Workplace

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Practice the technique of reflection. This simply means restating back to the person what they have said, so they can see that you are hearing and understanding what they are saying. Usually if an aggressive personality realizes you hear their points, many times they will become less aggressive.

Make your point confidently and be direct. Do not ramble on. Keep eye contact. You want the other person to see you communicate respect in this way. Keep your tone neutral. Be careful not to become passive or too hostile.This is where anger management skills would be advisable.

Remain Calm. This is a difficult technique especially if it is an emotional situation you are talking about. Explain how and why you feel the way you do. Explain what you will or will not do in managing this situation. Present options,for example, “if you continue to do this, this is what may or may not happen” Some people may try to manipulate you and divert the issue away from the original conversation. You may have to repeat your original point again to bring the focus back to the intended issue, repeatedly. This may cause tension and anger, but keep refocusing on your issue. State possible consequences of their behavior, but NEVER threaten with a specific result. If the end result does not change, you will lose credibility. Use the word ‘may’ instead of ‘will’ when discussing consequences. Don’t swear of use in appropriate behavior because you may be feeling more emotional. This makes your conversation ineffective and allows the individual you are confronting to focus on your behavior rather than their own. choose a quiet place to confront the person

confrontations are not pleasant, but if you are effective you will learn from each situation

Do not attack the person on a personal level

Document your conversation, time, date, place for future references.

Sometimes depending on the personality, this could escalate into violence, pick a time and place where there are people outside of your office.

Talk to a trustworthy person to let them know what you are going to be doing, so someone can know what’s going on.


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