Men's Articles

Spot A Crisis A Mile Away

The rules for all confrontations are essentially the same. A key factor is timing. Train yourself to look ahead and see conflict coming. That way you can minimize its scale by tackling it before it gets too serious. Always try to confront a problem before bad feeling builds up. So don't procrastinate.

Putting off a confrontation only increases your tension and anxiety. A tell-tale sign that a confrontation is overdue comes when you find yourself constantly bitching behind someone's back. Once you know the confrontation has to come, plan it. Be very clear about the central issues and don't waver.

The first confrontation should be the only one necessary, so handle it with the right degree of clarity and authority. As part of your planning, be sure of your facts. Every office is a rumor factor - make sure you confront someone only on the basis of what you know to be true, not what you've heard. If the reason for the confrontation is a particular nasty rumor, make it clear that's what you'd like to address.

Don't say "So you're the one who's saying I'm responsible for this mistake!" but "I'm concerned that some rather inaccurate stories are going around and I wonder if you can help to clarity the situation." Before you make your move, state your objectives. What would be the most desirable outcome of this confrontation from your point of view?

How far will you compromise on what you want? Have your proposals and solutions ready in advance, and know what you'll negotiate on. Don't be tempted to end the meeting until you've achieved what you set out to do. A half-finished confrontation is worse than none at all!


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