4 Tips to Help Improve Your Confrontation Skills

Confronting someone in a respectful manner has been something that I have always struggled with. It can sometimes be hard to explain your feelings and problems with someone in a way that’s easy to understand without getting upset about the situation. For me, it’s difficult to confront someone without being afraid of appearing rude or challenging. The confrontation skills I am explaining in this article are meant to diffuse the tension in a situation and are not meant to be used in an argument. 

There are multiple reasons why some people, especially women, are afraid to speak their mind for fear of being labeled as a b*tch and dread confrontation. They find it difficult to assert themselves, and this can apply to the unequal dynamic between men and women in the workplace. They find themselves second-guessing or questioning their reasons for confronting someone, this can mean doubting themselves and they can end up believing that they are the problem. 

While no one wants to disturb the dynamic or relationship between two people, communicating that you are unhappy with something that a person said or did can help save the connection.

  1. 1. Mentally Prepare Yourself

    Try to address the reason why you’re upset, and after you’ve done that try to think of ways to help the person you’re confronting understand why you feel that way. The easiest way for me to understand my emotions is to write down what happened that made me feel this way and why I am upset. This can be helpful if you create a cause and effect chart. The cause is what happened that made you upset. Then the effect is your emotions. This can also help the person understand your feelings.

  2. 2. Engage in a Respectful and Brief Manner

    Before you express your concerns you want to first find an appropriate setting. No one wants to be engaged in a personal discussion in front of subordinates or strangers. It can be embarrassing or cause more issues. After you have found the perfect setting, discuss your issues in a clear and concise manner without becoming upset. This can be hard because you are discussing the reason why you’re emotional but the best way to express yourself in a way that’s understandable is to not be upset. This can help you be taken more seriously and it won’t cause unnecessary tension. After you’ve said your piece, stop talking. This way the person on the receiving end can digest the information that you just gave them to then help find a solution. 

  3. 3. Be Articulate

    During a discussion, the best thing for you to do is to be direct and honest. Have the facts to back yourself up. If the person asks a simple question and you stumble, it can cause the whole conversation to fizzle. Stay away from accusations and instead stick with “I” statements. Turning the subject onto you can help avoid assigning blame. For example, if you have a communication problem with someone, say “I would prefer it if I was included in the discussion rather than not being a part of the discussion”. Avoid “never” and “always” statements as these can also be seen as accusations. 

  4. 4. Be Optimistic About Finding a Solution

    If you go into a tense discussion not believing that you will find a solution, this can make the conversation seem redundant. Try going in with a positive outlook that your partner or friend will help you find a solution to your shared problem. Although it may seem difficult at the moment but try to have faith that your friend will understand where you are coming from. If you used these tips then maybe they will. 

The important thing about confronting someone is to put yourself in their shoes. Try to think of ways to approach the situation in a way that you would like if you were on the receiving end. Hopefully, these tips helped you become more confident in yourself when you have to confront someone in a situation.