Guest Post: Positive Confrontations

Today we have a guest blog post from Polly. Polly works at PharmacyTechnicianCertification, which helps individuals get certified as technicians. She has written an important post that overviews the best strategies to make any confrontation a positive one when dealing with others in business.

Resolving conflict is an essential life skill. No matter who you're with, you're bound to find yourself dealing with confrontation at one time or another. Sometimes you're on the offense, sometimes the defense, but no matter what side you're on, it's vital to remember that the way you deal with confrontation will have a long-term impact on how others perceive you as a leader and co-worker.

The right attitude is essential. Confrontations aren't about settling scores or putting others in "their place." Rather, they're about identifying issues and solving problems. Healthy confrontations are not about insults or mudslinging, nor are they about political gain. When handled effectively, confrontations can bring issues to light, improve customer service, and strengthen teams. Here are a few steps to help you develop the skills to make any confrontation positive:

1. Assess the situation.
Think about what's really at the root of the issue, and make sure to separate the practical from the emotional. Look at the situation from all sides so you have a better idea of everyone's point of view.

2. Review past performance.
What have you done in similar situations? Is this issue a repeat of something you've been through before? What could you do differently that might alter this outcome for the better?

3. Shelve the blame game.
Finger pointing doesn't solve problems. Get over it!

4. Extend an invitation.
Reach out to the other party, and let them know you've got an open door. Let them see your sincerity and you're already on better footing.

5. Listen!
Use your listening skills, and remember not to assign blame. Try to remove yourself from the situation - what advice would you give a friend or a co-worker? Listen and really hear what's going on, and apply what you've learned.

Applying these steps to difficult encounters will help you develop the skills to compromise and be a better leader and co-worker. This in turn will help build trust with those around you, and create an even more positive environment for everyone - including yourself.

Polly Math has extensive experience in corporate publications, copywriting, training and advertising. She writes for a technician blog and Demand Media Studios.