Office workers scuffling at work. Vector illustration

Confrontation is hard. Not everyone is able to talk and call out people on what they are doing wrong. Some claim to be pacifistic, others are plain old scared to talk to people in confrontational ways.

It is even harder when it is a work-related confrontation since the matter then becomes about your job prospects. Dealing with the issue without finesse can lead to the work environment becoming toxic.

Therefore, it’s important that you invest in the art of confrontation. Otherwise, not only are you vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, but you will also find it harder to speak up for yourself.

It may also lead to your physical and mental health suffering, thanks to the work-related stress, meriting then a visit to the National Hospital & Medical Centre.

Art of confrontation

Learning how to manage confrontation and the subsequent issues is pertinent if you want to have a healthy work environment and not get saddled with other people’s problems. Some helpful tips include:

Be precise

There is no need to be verbose when it comes to matters of professional conduct. The more you talk, the greater the risk of crossing boundaries. It may then lead to added conflict, make your relationship worse, and may even take away from your original argument.

Hence, it is important that you have points of discussion before the confrontation and limit the conversation to just that.

Be firm

It can be hard to come off as stern especially when you hate confrontation, but to be taken seriously, you need to exude confidence and be firm. If you are stuttering, contradicting yourself, are apologetic, you will not be taken seriously. If your colleague is particularly savvy with words, the tables may turn as well. Hence, practice being firm.

Don’t react harshly

It is often easy to do easy things in the heat of the moment, but this mistake is one that you absolutely should not be making. You may end up overstepping your boundaries, saying things that you might regret later, or even get yourself in trouble whilst allowing the other person to walk scot free.

Thus, make sure that you cool down before speaking. They might goad you to react, but you have to keep the power with you, not give it away.

Don’t be petty

Make sure that the thing you are confronting your colleague over is valid. Similarly, do not bring out petty matters in the midst of the conversation. You are all adults, working in a professional environment. It does not suit your stature to be petty then.

Gossip is a big no!

One way to ruin everything is by gossiping about it. When you confront your colleague, keep the matters between just the two of you, or some person from HR or someone from the upper management.

If you start to gossip about what transpired, then not only are you not showing professional conduct and are being unethical, but you are also setting yourself to office politics that may come back to bite you.

Have evidence

It is always good to have a paper trail. If possible, try to have these conversations over email. If they are conducted in person, make sure that you have points of the meeting, so nothing is misconstrued, and matters are resolved fully. Evidence is also helpful when things become more complicated.

Get help

At times, even if you rationally know all the things, it is their practical implementation that scares you. If that is something you struggle with, you can confide in friends and family for help. You can practice having the talk with them, as rehearsing what you will say can give you confidence in dealing with the situation.

However, if you still struggle with anxiety that is becoming all consuming, then you may benefit from help from a mental health expert, like a Psychiatrist in Islamabad.