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Phrasing the Confrontation

Developing the four steps in the confrontation formula will help you prepare for discussion. Next comes planning what you will say. Write possible openings and other statements to make during the discussion. You may also rehearse until you can say the statements in a respectful, nonthreatening manner. Mental rehearsal helps to assure a successful negotiation. Remember to imagine positive pictures. How might a confrontation sound? Consider the following examples for confronting the behaviors in the “Identify the Real Problem” exercise.

  1. Perry could say to Sally, “Sally, I feel hurt and embarrassed when you make remarks about my clothes, particularly when you do it in front of others. Will you please not make such comments?”

  2. You might say to Jeremy, “Jeremy, several of your expense reports have been incomplete and contained some errors. This results in my assistant taking time from other duties to contact you for the missing information and to correct your mistakes. I’m annoyed that his time is being used this way. Will you please be sure that your reports are complete and accurate?”

  3. Ann could confront Will with, “Will, I strongly dislike your hitting me, and your remark about my skirt was inappropriate. Will you please apologize and never do that again?”

    Will’s manager could confront Will because his behavior could harm the manager and the organization if Ann files a sexual harassment charge. The manager might say, “Will, I saw you swat Ann with your magazine and I heard you make a remark about her clothes. I’m disappointed you did that, and I’m concerned that Ann might charge sexual harassment if you do something like that again. Will you please make sure that your interaction with her is professional?”

  4. Monica’s employees could confront her by saying, “When you yell at us and threaten to fire us, we feel embarrassed and angry. We are concerned about maintaining a good relationship with you, and we’re asking that you give us performance feedback in a more helpful manner.”


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