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Excerpts from a talk I gave in 2014, on “Confrontation” – DJH

You can approach confrontation as a learning opportunity, as a way to express why expectations don’t match up.

When we know we’re going into a confrontational situation, go into it with some intentionality, go into it knowing what you wish to express as your point of view, and what your desired outcome is – from the get-go. That way, both sides will at least know that there is some sort of target, as opposed to dwelling upon the aspects of the confrontation itself – something I call “arguing over how you’re arguing.”

You need to find common ground – if at all possible – and try to lay those out, before you get into the details of what the confrontation is [going to be].

You’re never going to agree, 100%, with everyone around you; they’re not going to agree with you.

But, if you go into any type of unpleasant engagement, unpleasant confrontation… if you have your facts on your side, that you can detail, that will allow the other side to be able to look at your point of view, look at your feelings, and ascertain whether you’re even having the same conversation.

Sometimes, you’re not having the same conversation… and realizing that, will actually resolve the conflict.

Sometimes pointing out your “facts on the ground” will illuminate facts unknown to the person to whom you’re talking, and will bring them around as well.

And, sometimes you’ll just come out and understand that you totally misread the situation… and it’s time for you to adjust your tactics.

Confrontation can be very healthy… it can also be destructive.

Try to go into it with a desired outcome, stating what your desired outcome should be, with an attitude that you will obtain a positive outcome… and not thinking that “I am going to destroy this person.”


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