How Should You Confront Someone At School Or Work?


Are you in a conflict with someone? Perhaps in your class project team or at your workplace? Are you fed up with the way that particular individual is acting and you want to confront them about it?

When someone showcases inappropriate behaviour, especially in a workplace setting, it can create a negative work atmosphere in which other co-workers feel uninterested to do their work and even customers don’t want to deal with that particular business.

Whether the need for the confrontation arises in a work or personal setting, here are 10 handy tips on how you should go about confronting that certain someone:

1. Use your personal power

This is simply the influence that you have on your peers. While we all have positional power, personal power is something we develop through rapport. If you are to confront someone, it can make the process a lot easier if you have a good working relationship and mutual understanding with that person.

2. What to confront

If you are confronted by someone, you will probably take it personally. So when you are confronting someone, don’t point your finger at the individual, but rather talk about how the way they are behaving needs to change. Remember the saying: ‘it’s not what you’re saying, but HOW you’re saying it’.

3. The ‘Ladder of Options’ approach

Use the climbing the ‘Ladder of Options’ approach. Using this method, begin by opting for the most positive and least threatening option. If this doesn’t work, then you can slowly begin to work your way up.

4. Be objective

Don’t let your emotions get in the way – stay both morally and emotionally objective.

5. Stay focused on the issue at hand

Always remain focused on the initial issue, and confront the person’s behaviour.

6. Consistency

Try to be consistent in your approach and in what you do and say.

7. Do it in private

It is very important that you do the confrontation in private. Don’t confront or give any feedback in front of others. This will only further humiliate the person and they will be more likely to retaliate.

8. Laugh it up

It can be a very good idea to employ humour. This shows you are human and that you can make light of the situation. It’s also a good way of cutting through the emotional tension.

9. Stay calm

Use your body language and voice to demonstrate a cool demeanor. Be calm, and don’t let it turn into a shouting match.

10. Be pre-emptive

Always attempt to resolve problems before they actually occur or deal with it early on to prevent any escalations.

Have you ever had to confront someone at school or work? How did you handle it? Share your experience in the comments section below!