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Archive for February 2015

Avoiding Confrontation Erodes Credibility and Trust: Part II

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 17th, 2015    1 Comment

Part I (posted on November 12, 2014) offered when conscientious people learn they are perceived as shirking responsibility and untrustworthy any time they avoid conflict or confrontation, they become motivated to have that much needed conversation. By considering a “confrontation” as simply a “conversation,” you can dissipate your fear level which resultantly increases the likelihood of taking action, thereby opening the door to restoring credibility and trust. Engaging in a conversation that feels more like a fire-side chart immediately signals to the other person that you are coming from a spirit of support rather than criticism. As such, your message is more likely to be regarded as trustworthy.

Part II has to do when you are being the one confronted. The two most common dysfunctional responses to being confronted are 1) shutting down, and 2) defending. Most people have not been taught how to successfully confront those whose performance or attitude is suffering, which explains why their confrontation is often times met with some form of defiance. Once again, you have the opportunity to create yet another fireside chat by simply responding to confrontation with “Tell me more. I’d like to make improvements.” This opens up a dialogue in which information is shared to determine what is working and not working, rather than who is right or wrong. Trust is immediately maintained or restored when the focus is on a superordinate goal rather than who is right or wrong.

Similar to how it’s easier on facial muscles to smile rather than frown, it is much easier on the human psyche and stress level to come from a place of trust rather than self-protection.