Confronting peopleConfronting people is one of the most difficult task I found in the past. Now, with some reading, training and experience I am able to say that I could confront to anyone.  It was not easy and I know that I have to learn a lot more, but I am happy the 90% of the time I confront to somebody today. In the missed 10%, I am not happy, but I always leave the door open to start the confrontation in the future.

Saying that, and if you are in the same status, you really know the benefits of confronting people. The most important for me in one confrontation is:


  • Respect
  • Safety
  • WIN-WIN goals

Now, after trying different approaches, my challenger is getting team members confronted with the same 3 points I just wrote down. Times to times I arrive to teams where the “constructive” confrontation does not exit at all.

As coach I always provide to team members with a framework to confront team members, I tried to keep it simple and motivate them to confront people inside the team and outside the team. Here are my tips:

Keep your mind positive or neutral about someone else

If you want confront someone, be sure you don’t have any negative thinking in your mind. Use always facts to build your story in mind before the confrontation.

Be sure that both part are comfortable with the situation and the way to aboard it

Control your voice is a big factor to be sure all are comfortable in those situations. Emotions must be out of any confrontation. You need to be sure you go directly to the issue/gap without lost the respect for you partner/college.

Be ready to fix issue/gap in a flexible way

Both side of the confrontation need to flexible at the moment of the solution/action will take place.  You need to get agreement in this rule before you jump in any solution.

One of my tips is: keep in mind one win-win solution.

I hope this help you in your next confrontation.  I strongly recommend “Crucial Confrontations” by Kerry Patterson

Feel free to share your thinking and comments.

I wish the best for 2013 to all of you!!!

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Thank you,

Omar Bermudez.

About the author

Omar is an agile practitioner and lover. Certified Scrum master. Agile Coach & Agile Leader. He believes it is important to continually be learning and growing. His dream is to be a lifelong learner; growing each day. He is also passionate about leadership development and seeing people reach their full potential. He is also a good husband & father (his wife says that time to times). He has a wonderful wife and 2 fantastic kids. In his free time, if he does not have any plan ahead, he tries to apply agile methodologies at the family level :). He enjoys a lot to travel with his family and discovers new places for them.