Conflict Resolution :: You Are Ready for Respectful, Private Confrontation

ready for respectful conversation

Your own mind and heart are in the right place, so now you are ready for respectful, private confrontation. You are on the path to conflict resolution.

Recently, one of my professional clients was berated in front of all of his colleagues. He felt horrible. His boss, it seemed, felt vindicated.

Public correction is not uncommon. We see it in our organizations, in our families, and in our politics. The reason behind these public attempts at behavior correction varies, but often there is an element of shame built into the purpose.

In my client’s case, he was truly in the wrong, but his boss was frustrated, and not much self-control or forethought went into the decision. I’m sure it did not even have the desired effect—it made the boss look frantic and it made my client feel less motivated and encouraged to work harder—not more.

Praise in Public. Confront in Private.

In conflict, the most effective approach to resolution begins in private. In private you bring safety, trust and a position of respect.

Once you have brought awareness to your Emotional Templates, identified the part your perceptions are playing in the conflict, and you have inspected your own heart for your motivations, you are ready to address the conflict with the other person involved.

The key there is “person”—singular. You are ready to go to the person in private to begin the conversation about your conflict or challenge.

As a manager and in our family, our motto has been—praise in public, correct in private. We give the conflict the best chance for resolution and extend honor and respect when we confront the behavior privately.

{As an important side note, this is different when physical or emotional abuse is at the center of the conflict, so please use discretion as you enter into dialogues inside an abusive relationship. Here, there is health in numbers, not privacy.}

SF + SS life fullest

An Example of Respectful Private Confrontation

A recent coaching client manages a large budget and a small team. She and her team complement each other—each playing a different role, each sitting in a different seat on the bus.

Shortly into her new role as manager, one of her team members, Joanna, was not playing her part, and it was becoming disruptive. They have regular meetings, and the manager was tempted to address the behavior within those meetings, because after all it was affecting everyone. Instead, she chose to first go in private.

Using the Strengths on the Bus word picture, she set the stage:

You, Joanna, are the driver, and you are a crucial part of our team. I am out in the front with the megaphone, making sure our voice is heard and the way is cleared. Tom is on and off the bus, making us known and ensuring we’re headed the right direction. Katie is ensuring that everyone is feeling excited and engaged here on the bus.

You are the driver. You get us to the end. And you are so important. We cannot go anywhere if you have our foot on the break. I am not saying that you need to be pedal to the metal, but you have to let your foot off the break and help us get to the end.

Joanna, stoic and thoughtful by personality, let it sink in. And then, she started driving again.

By going to Joanna in private, the manager had a unique ability to craft specific communication for Joanna, and her effectiveness in reaching her soared.

Strategy for Respectful Private Confrontation

Here are some strategies you can use to address your conflict in a respectful, private way.

1 :: Understand the emotional template that you bring into the conflict and conversation

Based on your previous interaction and your understanding of their talents and troubles, understand what you expect and look objectively at the influence these expectations have on the conflict and your confrontation approach.

2 :: Evaluate your own Perceptions

In the example with Joanna above, the manager had both negative and positive perceptions of Joanna’s strengths, and she understood the influence of those perceptions going into the conversation.

3 :: Inspect Your Heart

Be introspective and honest about the contribution you have played in the conflict and the motivations of your heart surrounding the conflict.

4 :: Go in Private

Be thoughtful about the way you communicate your frustration or challenges. Use your knowledge of their Strengths to craft intentional conversation that breaks down the barriers and defenses and gets through to their own mind and heart.

As a start, you can use this Communication that Gets Thru {FREE} PDF resource where we give you an idea of the type of communication that best speaks to the Strengths of the people around you.

As you go in private, you create safety and trust, and on that foundation, you are on the path to conflict resolution.

StrengthsFinder Communication Resource



Links & Resources from today

Also catch the Conflict Resolution series on Audio + Video, on the Isogo TV Podcast, Episodes 62-67 {with added resources}!
Discover your Top 5 Strengths with StrengthsFinder + Strengths Startup
Communication That Gets Thru {FREE Resource}
Conflict Resolution :: Inspect Your Own Heart First
Conflict Resolution :: Perception Frustration + What to Do About It
Conflict Resolution :: Influence of Emotional Templates
ITV 23 | The MOST Effective Communication Strategies {That Really Get Through!}
Strengths on the Bus {FREE Infographic}
ITV 37 | PART 1 :: Get It Done
ITV 38 | PART 2 :: Be Heard
ITV 39 | PART 3 :: Hold It Together
ITV 40 | PART 4 :: Set the Vision
9 Steps to Life-change {FREE Checklist}
{9 Steps} to Life Change through your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths


The Strengths-perspective can impact your marriage, your parenting, and your work!

If you’re into it or you’re just not so sure about it all, reach out, and let’s connect about it. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all at @isogostrong, by this handy contact form, or in our Energy Up Frustration Down facebook group.

Enjoy your day, and {be strong}!

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