Imagine you have a mediocre employee who has been under-performing for a while. They’re loyal with some great attributes and have been with you for a long time. What do you do?
This dilemma can give a business owner pause, but the key is to confront the employee in a healthy way.
Most people find healthy confrontation to be hard. But I liken confrontation to exercise: it’s hard at first, but it gets easier and more natural the more you do it.
Confrontation done right is a true asset to your business. Confrontation done wrong is disastrous.
Here are 8 Characteristics of Healthy Confrontation
Check them out and ask yourself how well you are doing in each area.
#1: Healthy confrontation is built on rapport. If you want people to respond well to feedback, they have to know that you care. This means connecting with them on a consistent basis to build rapport and goodwill.
#2: Healthy confrontation is timely. Address problems when they are small. This is obvious yet it’s easy to let things slide until issues start to build up. The quicker you address an issue, the quicker it can be resolved.
#3: Healthy confrontation is about making people on your team right, not wrong. No one is perfect or beyond reproach. I had a client recently tell me that they “hate making people on their team feel wrong.” That’s great, because you don’t have to. Confrontation is about closing a gap between what should happen and what is happening. You are communicating to find a solution, not to bring someone down.
#4 Healthy confrontation focuses on issues, not people. You may have a hard time confronting someone in your business because you don’t want the other person to feel attacked. This is why it’s important to confront the issue that is occurring in your business and not the person.
#5 Healthy confrontation is concise. This point is critically important because if you’re not concise when confronting someone, it’s easy to lose your power. Being concise means that you stick to one issue. You use facts, not feelings. Lastly, you need to be specific about what the issue is. Don’t talk around the topic hoping that the other person picks up the hint.
#6 Healthy confrontation occurs with a reasonable tone of voice. When was the last time you confronted someone by yelling at them and it turned out well? Never? Me too. If you lose your cool, then you lose the power of great communication.
#7 Healthy confrontation contains a resolution or next-steps. Don’t walk away from a confrontational situation without a future game plan for change. It’s a complete waste of your time if a resolution isn’t achieved. It defeats the purpose of confronting them in the first place.
#8 Healthy confrontation includes following up after your initial conversation. Do you want to create impact with your confrontation? Then set the tone that you are serious about change with a follow-up conversation to check the status of the issue. This is also an opportunity to remind the other person that you care about them.
The key to healthy confrontation is to see it as coaching people to perform at their highest level.
Everyone needs feedback and healthy confrontation allows for two people to close the gap and find a resolution to problems.
So exercise your confrontation muscles and you will create powerful connections with your team.
Garrett Gunderson is a financial advocate to professionals. He is the CEO of Wealth Factory and the author of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity. Join his Curriculum for Wealth series in order to dig deeper and uncover the comprehensive strategies surrounding cash flow and improving your bottom-line.
Note: This article was co-authored with Brandon Allen