Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, September 20, 2010 @ 8:23:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

I have been good at confrontation in the past, but unfortunately for most of my life it has been when I am frustrated, upset or angry. This is an inappropriate time to confront because honor disappears.

In contrast, learning to confront with honor has been much more difficult. I don't like confrontation for many reasons, especially because it seems like disapproval. My people pleasing tendency also gets in the way.

Two recent quotes from Danny Silk's book, "Culture of Honor" have challenged me to rethink the concept that true honor includes confrontation:
  • "There will be no culture of honor without the active use of effective confrontation. The skill of combining these two relational elements – honor and confrontation—is the key to sustaining an environment of grace." (pg. 163)
  • "Confrontation and empowerment go hand in hand in a culture of honor and mercy, compassion and courage are the qualities necessary for maintaining a healthy flow of these two elements in your environment. Successful confrontation builds relationships and strengthens covenant bonds." ( pg 183)
As I look back over my 40 years as a businessman I can see that I have been slow to confront employees who are violating our culture or not pulling their weight. That is until my frustration finally overwhelms me and I act. Clearly that is not honoring and does not help the individuals reach their God given potential. Healthy confrontation is encouraged in Galatians 6:1:
"Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too." (New Century Version)

The Leadership Development Program through Bethel Church, Redding has been very helpful in my understanding some of the keys to healthy confrontation:

  • Start from the basic belief that the person is good and they desire to do well
  • Appeal to the relationship not the behavior
  • Call out the greatness in people if possible while protecting relationships of those around them
  • Confrontation may look like punishment but the difference is your heart condition which is hopeful that they will change

Making the switch to healthy confrontation while honoring the person is one of the biggest challenges I face personally and in business. I am still learning how to confront in love.

Comments
I really enjoy reading your blog. Great thoughts included in every one. It encourages me to keep moving forward in growth. Love you dad.
keli @ 5:52:00 PM 9/20/2010
Doug, This is a great reminder for me. It is always easier for me, in the short term, to not confront an issue. It takes work to do it well and with honor. Could you expand on the second bullet near the end when it says, "Appeal to the relationship and not the behavior". I am used to hearing something like, "Address the behavior and not the person" but I am not sure what this point means. Thanks again for the thoughtful comments.
Michael Redman @ 11:16:00 AM 9/21/2010
Michael, the goal is to maintain the relationship but still deal with the behavior. If I had the need to confront you over a situation my highest priority would be to protect and even enhance if possible our relationship through the process being sure to let you know how important our relationship is to me, i.e. appealing to the relationship. From that foundation I would then address the specific situation but always keeping in mind the priority of our relationship.
Doug Hignell @ 4:15:00 PM 9/29/2010
Wow, I wish this message could be posted on a billboard somewhere. If people could seek to honor eachother in confrontation, there would be so much less verbal and emotional "clobbering" going on. I especially love the line, "Start from the basic belief that the person is good and they desire to do well." Thanks Doug.
Jody @ 11:22:00 AM 10/1/2010

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