We learned from the workshop that sometime it is better to confront the person than to avoid her. We can stop some type of conflict from escalating through constructive confrontation.
Constructive confrontation can be a real challenge, but when it is done correctly, it prevents tension and minimizes defensiveness. There are three key elements to a successful constructive confrontation.
(1) Assertive: support your confrontation with clear, direct communication that isn’t blaming or condemning. Assertive communication describes your reaction to the behavior, and doesn’t make judgments about the person or the motives behind the confrontation.
(2) Current: confront unacceptable behavior when it happens. If that’s not possible, you can still confront the person shortly afterwards, but it is unacceptable to bring up incidents long after they’ve occurred. Referring to misdemeanors that happened a long time ago increases the possibility of conflict because both parties are more concerned about proving what really happened.
(3) Specific: when you confront unacceptable behavior, you need to be specific about what needs to change, or what you want to happen in the future. The other person should know exactly what is expected of him, and your words should not be ambiguous or open to individual interpretation.
Keep in mind these these elements when you have to confront someone with some unpleasant issues.