Do you work with people that tend to avoid confrontation? If so, check out this blog from the TheRelationshipProtocol.com. See “Notes for Professionals” at the end.
Do you fear confrontation or run away from what could be a potential or perceived conflict?
For many people, anticipating a confrontation or being concerned that a conversation will “go negative” is enough to make them back off, shut down, or approach the other person aggressively. The high discomfort level is often disproportionate to the actual situation.
These individuals are driven purely by the fear of not knowing what to do or what to say. It only takes a few bad experiences with confrontation or perceived confrontation to make someone uncomfortable addressing those often difficult and sensitive issues.
Then there are other people who seem to enjoy confrontation. The thought of an argument pumps them up, and they get ready for a dramatic and potentially volatile interaction. This more confrontational type of person is typically comfortable with the drama of the fight. It's familiar.
When you want to talk to someone about something that’s significant or sensitive, think of the interaction as a conversation or a discussion and not as a confrontation. Try to view it as an opportunity to clarify something.
These conversations are often about expressing feelings, understanding confusing issues, addressing points of view, resolving problems, or introducing new topics.
If you want to stick around, not argue and have more productive conversations, then learn how to be a more effective communicator. You'll grow your confidence and ALL of your relationships will feel much more satisfying at home and at work. Learning how to address conflicts, actively listen and respond thoughtfully will make a world of difference in your life.
If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, or how to respond and you need practical communication tools, the Relationship Protocol can help. Don't keep running away...
Notes for Professionals:
Help your clients explore what's happening for them in the moment, that makes them want to either run from or dive headfirst into a real or perceived confrontation. They need to bring some awareness to each interaction if they're going to change these negative communication patterns.
For example, avoidance of an argument is often because they don't know what to say, how to respond, or they fear they'll be hurting the other person, so better off staying quiet. Whereas, individuals that are always heated and volatile usually don’t know how else to communicate. They only know how to be combative.
Help your avoidant clients to introduce topics by stating their intentions up front, and teach the combative clients more constructive ways of responding. Please think about using the Relationship Protocol as a simple and effective way of teaching necessary communication skills to all of your clients.