No matter where you work, you will have some kind of confrontation take place. Confrontation is inevitable when you have multiple personality types working together. Confrontation is not a bad thing, but how you deal with it separates the weak companies from the strong ones. There are two things you must always keep in mind when confrontation occurs: 1) Always be respectful; and 2) Keep it professional.
Confrontation happens; that’s a given. How we deal with confrontation will say more about us than it does the issue in question. One thing that will make our character and ability to respect others come into question is our ego. This three letter word has the power to destroy everything we have worked for. It has the power to alienate us and make us paranoid. The ego is the conspicuous friend who whispers sweet little lies into our ear.
If we do not have our ego in check, confrontation will most likely be caused by our own doing. When we feel threatened or think we have to be right, our ego will push us to disrespect those for whom we are in conflict. At that moment, we will have lost the battle, but continue to fight as if we think we have won. The moment disrespect enters into any confrontations, the character of the individual showing disrespect begins to erode away. This is why respect must always be at the forefront of our mind as we enter into confrontation, and we must beat our ego into submission.
If we, as adults, cannot have a respectful conversation over something we do not agree on, then we should not entertain the idea of opening our mouths in the first place. The old adage holds true, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Disrespect is just as bad as ego, but it destroys relationships much more quickly than our ego. We must remember that confrontation is not a battle between individuals, but over ideas and thinking. We must respect others while gently sharing our ideas and thoughts during confrontation.
Disrespect also lends itself to unprofessionalism. When confrontation turns into berating, yelling, or even physical contact, professionalism is lost, and so is the respect anyone had for the person acting in such ways. This is most detrimental if we are in a leadership position. Not only does this show our lack of leadership ability, but it shows our true character. Leadership should be built on the foundation of selfless service for those we lead. If we build leadership upon any other foundation, our leadership will eventually lead to egotistical leadership and our demise.
Confrontation happens. Disagreements happen. Personalities will inevitably clash in the workplace. Through it all, we must always strive to show respect and keep everything professional. If you find yourself losing control during a confrontation, shut your mouth and walk away. It is better to have a bruised ego than it is to have loss of respect. And never forget, you are not as amazing as your ego claims you to be. Keep yourself in check and stay professional.
As always, stay humble and serve well!