Just a few days ago I was confronted by a person who was very angry about something I had done. Instead of fighting about the issue, explaining my side, justifying my actions or getting into a discussion, I allowed her to speak her mind …. apologized for my part in creating the problem and fixed up what I needed to without taking it personally at all.
I’ve taken notice of how Rhonda Burne (creator and producer of the hit movie ‘The Secret’) handles people confronting her, by allowing them to have their say, but NOT adding energy to the problem and responding negatively. In practice – it works for me. This is how Chris Widener explains what to do…
When someone is confronting you:
1. Don’t take it personally. Worst-case scenario, you blew it. But that doesn’t make you a bad person. So don’t act like they have accused your character (unless they have, in which case you should try to get the conversation back to the facts). When we take things personally we become even more protective and we tend to become defensive and in the end escalate the conflict even more.
2. Don’t counterattack. This gets back to dealing with one issue at a time. Don’t try to justify or hide from the conflict the person has with you by showing him or her their problems. If they have a problem, great, talk about it later. Don’t muddy the waters with debate about who is better, or as the case may be, less guilty. As hard as it may be, let the conversation run its course until it is solved.
3. Ask for some time to give it objective reflection. One way to stop conflict from escalating is simply to ask for time to consider it. Most of the time when people confront us, we had no idea it was coming. Our natural tendency is to fight out of reaction. If we go and think about it, we can be objective and approach the situation objectively, or at least more so.
4. Set a time to get back with them and discuss the issue. Let the person know that you take their concern seriously and that you want to deal with it in a timely manner. Set a time, no more than three days away, to get back together. You will keep from reacting, and they may even find that they had confronted too soon themselves.
Reproduced with permission from the Chris Widener Ezine. http://www.chriswidener.com