What is “conflict”?  Any interaction involving disagreement.  Conflict is not inherently “bad”.  How people conflict usually determines whether the outcome resolves or exacerbates contentious issues.


What is a “confrontation”?  When we must deliver information or ask for something from a person we fear does not want the information or does not want to give what we are asking for.  It usually involves telling your truth to someone that does not necessarily want to hear it.  It is one way to help resolve conflict.  Not all communication is confrontation.



Do’s and Don’ts of Conflict Resolution

Do, even if they don’t


Look for a Win/Win solution

Look for a Win/Lose solution

Base disagreement on issues

Base disagreement on personality

Look at outcomes

Accuse or indict

Talk about specific behaviors

Assume motivations, negatively label

Actively listen

Be defensive and discounting

Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge even if they do not

Ignore, discount, or belittle their feelings and issues

Express feelings appropriately

Put feelings down or be hostile

Make it easy for them to change

Be righteous

Offer assistance

Make them wrong – rub it in

Maintain own vision of yourself and use your shield

Take it personally

Use the Do’s of Effective Communication

Use the Don’ts of Effective Communication

Respond from your leader, creator best, not from a victim mindset








Behaviors to Avoid in Confrontations

Critical/judgmental/demeaning attitude

“What is this?”

“You turkeys are all alike!”

Controlling/autocratic attitude

“My way is the right or only way.”

“Do it your way and it will get sent back.

“You’ll learn.”

Sarcastic Indifference

“I don’t really care what you do.”

“It’s obvious you don’t want my input.”

Superior/Better than attitude

“I told you so.”

“You won’t see any of us doing it that way.”


“You always . . . “

“You never . . . “

“Why can’t you ever . . . “

“Just once, could you . . .”







The Seven Steps of Initiating a Confrontation

1.   State how you see the situation.  Give facts, not interpretations.

“Right now, I see the situation as . . . “

State the problem.  Not:  “You’re trying to control everybody.”

2.   State how you understand the problem that causes this situation.  Again, give facts, results, or negative effects.

“I see the problems that cause this are . . .”

3.   Identify the negative consequences and feelings that result.

“The concern I have about this is . . .”

4.   Get agreement on the problem

“Do you see that . . . is a problem?”

5.   Suggest possible solutions

“I’d like to suggest . . . “

6.   Identify consequences of the problem continuing

“If this happens again, then . . .”

7.   State what your understanding of the agreement or solution is.

“It is my understanding that we have agreed that . . .”