Hate Confrontation?

Conversations go sideways for two reasons:
  1. You make confrontation about the other person’s intention, instead of about the impact their behavior had on you
  2. You don’t know how to manage the tension after you’ve gotten whatever it was off your chest
Every time I say, “Next week we talk about difficult conversations,” I can feel my class’s collective groan.  

EVERYONE has had conversations go sideways. Which is why you avoid them.

Which means you start avoiding the people you feel tension around.

And try to do things by yourself.

Which leads to inefficiency and burnout, even as you or your team falls short of its goals.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have really productive confrontation.

You can get what you need to off your chest.  

And crazy as it sounds, actually trust each other more.  

Because when you talk it out, you get where each other is coming from.

And you see one another’s complexity, what you each bring to the table, and how you can work together to produce great results.

Which leads to better ideas, reaching and surpassing goals. Bottom line success.

How is this magic created? It’s not always easy, but it is simple:
  • Isolate the action the other person does, not their intention. Do they IM you while you’re on Zoom calls with your boss?
  • Again, without worrying about their intention, connect with the impact it has on you. If it distracts you, then it distracts you.
  • Connect the impact to a larger reason.
  • Create your 3-part message:  “When you IM me in Zoom calls with the boss, it distracts me. That’s a drag because this project we’re working on is one of my major annual goals and I care about my bonus.”
That’s the first step. Next, manage the tension response:
  • People typically react with denial, defensiveness, or deflection, as in, “What do you mean? You IM me all the time!” or “Sorry (drippy)….I thought you cared about the World Cup results…”
  • When they do that, you haven’t failed.  Tension is a normal response.  Now listen and reflect on what they are saying. Don’t agree, just reflect, “So I IM you in meetings too,” or “I get it, the World Cup is top of mind.”
  • Then repeat your 3-part message again, slightly different if you want, “Thing is, these meetings with the boss, in particular, I don’t want to be distracted right now, and the IMing does that.
  • The tension will increase again and they may try another strategy, “If you don’t like it, why don’t you just turn off your notices??”
  • Then repeat the listening, “I could turn off my notices. That’s one solution.”
  • And repeat your 3-part message.
Eventually, there should be a breakthrough. Even if it’s bumpy, they will get it. Then, and only then, you can start to brainstorm solutions.

I’ve used this method many, many times, as have my clients. It’s a fantastic way to create healthy boundaries, and deepen trust with people.

You can feel more confident, less anxious, build teamwork, get so, so much more done, and with better results.

If you want to know more about how I teach this I to the 4th Power tool and others in Fortune 500 companies, click here or reach out.

My best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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