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Dealing with confrontations in the workplace:

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Confrontation in the workplace is impossible to avoid, but there are some ways of handling it that are better than others. Whether you are the one faced with having to confront someone, or whether you are being confronted, here are a few tips on how to get through it.

If you are the manager of a business it is most likely you will deal with confrontation often, that is simply the nature of managing. Because confrontation can have a seemingly negative connotation, you may wish to avoid this. But rather than avoid confrontation you must simply learn to rethink your perception of confrontation.


Learn to recognize that confrontation can actually be a positive. The reason you confront your employees on their job performance, is simply to make better employees, not to unnecessarily rat on a friend. If you were appointed manager it is because someone believed in your ability to manage. To manage means keeping your employees doing their best and continually helping them seek to do better. In this way confrontation can clearly be seen as a positive.

Your employees, at first, may not feel the same about confrontation
. But whether they're flipping hamburgers or saving lives, as the manager you want to help them continually do their job better, so you must help to change their perspective. To do this when you first sit down with them state clearly the positives you see in them, and the things that you respect in the way they handle their job performance. Let your employees know that you are confronting them only to help the company as a whole function better.

Be open to their feedback and perspective; remember that even though you're the manager, you can still learn from the little guys. After confronting them on whatever the issue is, be willing to listen to their perspective of the same issue. Sometimes they may not have a perspective and you will simply be telling them something new, but sometimes they may have a reason for doing things the way they are doing them so you need to listen so that together you can agree on a better plan.

Be prepared for the employees who won't accept your advice. Being as nice as you can be, laying things out clearly, and recognizing the positive in your employee may still not be enough for some employees. Some of your employees may not feel they need the criticism and if so then confrontation may need to take a more negative face. You are the manager and regardless of how nice you are as a person, your job requires you be firm in managing your employees. If you have an employee who is unwilling to be managed, then you have to simply give them the do or walk out option. Do follow your criticism, or do walk out of this company. You might want to be everyone's friend but be prepared to be the manager first if the situation arises.

Lastly, follow up with your employees. After you have confronted them on any topic, a part of managing is making sure your employees follow through. You may feel like you are micromanaging, but that is necessary after having given instructions to anyone. Meet with your employees weekly if you have to until they learn to take your advice and immediately learn to apply it.

After having confronted one or more of your employees, also make sure and recognize if they follow your instructions. Recognition of the good and the bad will help your employees to respect you a lot more than they will be able to if all they ever hear is the bad.

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