This has been hard to write about, that’s why the post is late today. Confrontation is very rarely easy, in fact it can be downright terrifying, whichever party you are.
I remember very clearly a meeting I was called to with the sole agenda of discussing some of my lifestyle choices. I was 22. It was awkward. It was uncomfortable. I hated every moment.
It was all of these thing,s for just one reason – my leaders were right.
Confrontation is not easy to take at the best of times but it’s especially difficult when what you are being told about yourself is actually the truth. Awkward.
Here’s what I have learned when I think back to being confronted at that time in my life…
1. They spoke to me because they loved me. They believed in me.
2. They had a strong desire to protect my leadership credibility.
3. They had a bigger view and saw the dangers that I was blind to. They had an eye on my future, while mine was just on the now.
4. They were making sure I didn’t sabotage my God-given destiny for what were just selfish behaviours.
I recognise it took courage for that conversation to take place. If it’s unpleasant to receive a confronting, then as a leader delivering the confronting to others is equally as tough.
However, if you truly love the people you lead then it’s unavoidable. After all, whether we like it or not it’s usually through the tougher conversations that people will grow. Confrontation from a good leader is the stretch so often required as preparation for next phase of life. Delivered from a place of love and care for the person it’s an incredibly powerful leadership quality.
I’m not sure I want to think about where I could be now if that ‘chat’ hadn’t happened. It saved me from my immature self and it made me a better leader. Added of course to all the other similar ‘chats’ that have happened since.
What’s your experience of confrontation?
How has it helped you grow as a leader?