Unball Your Fist When Confronting
By Billie Miller “The Motivational Minister”.
I remember years ago when I was managing a restaurant, I noticed the waitresses kept complaining about their tips. To make matters worse, they were complaining on the restaurant floor in front of other customers. I knew I needed to nip this in the bud before it got out of hand. So I gathered all of the waitresses together and I said, “Each day you’re going to deal with customers. Will every one of them leave a good tip?” They responded, “No. Some will not even leave a tip at all.” Then I replied, “So you already know this right?” They nodded yes. “So let’s not get so caught off guard when it happens. I prefer you not to complain at all, but if you must, can you do it in the back where the customers can’t hear you? I don’t want our customers to hear you complaining about anything. Understood?” They agreed.
Later towards the end of the day, one of the waitresses came to me and said, “I like the way you approached us today. The other managers are so rude and disrespectful. But the way you spoke to us, we understood and felt like we were a part of the team…” From that day forth, I never had that problem again. The amazing thing about this story though is that I wasn’t a Communications Guru or some Super Leader. I literally just learned a principle about confrontation less than 24 hours before I put it into practice. And it worked! How’s that for quick results?
Like anyone else, I’ve had my share of miscommunication or confrontations that went sour. Managing the restaurant was my first management position, so I didn’t really know a lot. By default, I thought I had to do what the other managers did – Use short, harsh, brutal words to show my authority. It was as if they balled their fist when they were confronting you. I tried it once, and the crew members looked at each other, confused by what I was doing. Some of them even laughed because this was so out of my character. I knew it wasn’t right and I thought to myself, “It has to be a better way.” I needed to learn about leadership and I needed to learn from someone who was successful at it. John C. Maxwell came to my mind because he’s a leadership guru who is known as America’s expert on leadership. I purchased a book that he wrote called, “Winning With People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time”. Chapter 11 is called “The Confrontation Principle” and John gives you a road map for healthy confrontation:
- Confront a person only if you care for that person.
- Meet together ASAP.
- First seek understanding, not necessarily agreement.
- Outline the issue.
- Encourage a response.
- Agree to an action plan.
I applied this principle and got results in less than 24 hours!
When there’s conflict, confrontation is often avoided because it can be difficult at times. No one really wants to do it and when it’s done, it’s usually done incorrectly.
Pulling rank won’t fix it.
Whining won’t help you win.
Ignoring it won’t make it go away.
And all of that yelling won’t change a thing.
Don’t make the same mistake that I made in thinking that you must use short, harsh, brutal words to show your authority. Un-ball your fist when you’re confronting. Read this carefully, “You can be a person who means what you say, but you don’t have to be mean when you say it.” Chew on that for a minute.
“A gentle answer turns anger away, but means words stir up anger. The tongues of wise people use knowledge well. But the mouths of foolish people pour out foolish words.”
Proverbs 15:1-2 NIRV
When it comes to conflict, you must confront quickly and correctly if you want the it to be resolved. If not, it will just fester and grow worse.
BILLIE MILLER “The Motivational Minister” is a Bible teacher, speaker, and the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of “Life in Righteousness: The Word is Your Life” and “30 Days of Righteousness: The Word is Your Life Action Plan”. Thousands of lives have been changed through Billie’s powerful teachings. For more information please visit www.BillieMiller.com. Follow Billie on twitter (@BillieMiller7) and on facebook (BillieMillerPage).