by - m on 11/19/2010

Do not shy away from confrontation.

It may not be the preferred way to begin communication, but it is communication. (I’m referring here to a professional difference of opinion, not throwing punches or screaming).

Most people will become defensive when they are challenged. Some folks will raise their voices and start arguing their point of view. Others will become quiet. 

It’s been my observation and experience that the best course of action is to allow the other person their say. When the situation is calm, challenge them for alternatives. Ask questions rather than argue your position – especially if you have the authority to impose your will.

What would they do?
What alternatives are there that the team hasn’t thought of?

Explain your position calmly. In the end, you may agree to disagree, but you’ve giving the other person their say.

You might also learn something.

– m

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