When one is feeling let down or disappointed because a promise has been broken or an understanding forsaken, one often prefers to keep quiet about it for fear of further harming the relationship. Indeed, Crucial Confrontations are difficult for many people, but are often necessary. Failure to confront someone over bad behavior may be misinterpreted as approval. Confrontations, if done properly, can help bring people back to a better, more productive course.
The problems often involve broken rules, missed deadlines, and disregarding assignments. If we decided to step up to the issue, we frequently do it poorly and risk creating a whole new set of problems. Crucial Confrontation training teaches the skills needed to successfully face and work through issues, whether they are in the workplace or at home. A crucial confrontation is a face-to-face accountability dialogue.
Being successful at confronting requires more than just a policy; it requires a set of skills. The first step is to determine what and if. Which means that the issue that needs to be confronted, has to be so clearly identified, that it can be stated in one sentence. Along with this, an analysis of the risks of having the confrontation versus the risks of not having it is needed. Instead of assuming the worst we should ask: What is the rest of the story? Why would a reasonable person behave in this manner? Rather than assuming the worst and starting off with an attack of nasty conclusions and accusations which might turn out to be inaccurate, we should simply Describe the Gap between what happened and what was agreed upon or expected. Make it safe for the other person by sticking to the facts and by clearly describing the gap between what was expected and what was observed. Is the problem due to motivation, ability, or both? Also, has this kind of lapse happened for the first time or is it a pattern? If the incident is one of its kind, then only talk about what happened, if it has happened the second or third time then talk about the pattern that is developing and if it has happened more than that then talk about how it is affecting the relationship.
Further, we should explore all the possible sources of influence working on the person. Once the cause is determined, we should make it as easy-and as motivating as possible, to carry out the completion of the task or assignment.
Those who master crucial confrontations make sure their thoughts are in order before they put their mouths in gear:
1. They make sure they are confronting the right problems.
2. They learn to control their strong emotions by revisiting the stories that caused the problem. They make sure that the thoughts running through their heads- their facts, stories and emotions help them see the other person as a reasonable and rational person rather than a villain.
3. They withhold judgment till all the facts are out in the open.
4. They start with the facts; the least offensive and then tentatively follow in with the conclusion that they are starting to draw. Then they give the other person a chance to explain himself.
Last but not the least: Develop a plan to allow for appropriate follow-up by clarifying who does what by when and what the schedule and method of follow up is going to be.
Finally, to ensure success during the confrontation, it is important to remain focused and flexible. If new problems emerge during the confrontation, it is essential to remain flexible enough to deal with them-without getting sidetracked from the original issue