Entrepreneur

How to Handle Confrontation at Work

Confronting someone doesn't have to be a defensive maneuver or a counterattack.
Source: Chris Philpot

An email that says, “I don’t appreciate being spoken to that way” isn’t a confrontation; it’s a complaint. Yelling, “Whoever threw away the juice for my cleanse is gonna pay!” isn’t a confrontation; it’s a threat. Asking, “What’s your problem, Ethyl?!” at softball practice isn’t a confrontation; it’s an outburst. (Anyway, she can block the base path because she had the ball and applied a tag. Also, she’s like 82, so maybe lay off.)

We think of confrontation as an aggressive thing, but it shouldn’t be a defensive maneuver or a counterattack. A healthy, fruitful confrontation is marked by empathy, calm and commitment. Also: a smidgen of hostility. But only a smidgen. 

Going in

The first thing is: This is up to you. Not your boss. Not HR. Confrontation is all or nothing. If you’re

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