Do you find it easy to give someone constructive feedback or respectfully disagree? This is called confrontation. Nobody I know LOVES confrontation. Many people try to avoid it and in doing so make situations worse. Problem is, walking through disagreements and feedback is the ONLY way to a healthy relationship with TWO powerful people. Confrontation is my friend; it is the pathway to deeper relationship.

I grew up avoiding confrontation. I coated my avoidance in terms like ‘serving’ or ‘being loyal’ or ‘honor’ or ‘love overlooks…’ but the truth is I was partnering with fear. I refused to confront because I was afraid that in doing so I would lose connection. Truth is, if you cannot disagree or give feedback to someone around you, you don’t really HAVE a connection. If I am avoiding confrontation to protect a connection, my connection is built on a lie… I’m faking it. That never results in authentic connection.

I’ve been on a (long) journey of learning healthy confrontation. It starts with losing the fear of disconnection. That only happens as I begin to be true to myself, value who I am and LOVE myself. Love doesn’t come from myself. It’s not some self-help program. It’s Jesus. His love is the only thing that chases away fear. Jesus is the only Source that can provide me the never-ending supply of love and value I need to anchor my identity and empower me to confront in a healthy way.
So, as I grow in being free from fear of disconnection, how do I confront in a healthy way? Here’s five keys to get you going…

1. Get your facts clear – Separate the facts from your feelings. Emotions are always triggered when you experience a disagreement or offense and easily cloud our judgment. Go back through what happened and ask yourself “What are the facts?” and “Is that true, or my version of the truth?”

2. Get humble – Appeal to the person rather than just pointing out error. It is very rare that people intentionally want to perpetrate evil on those around them. More commonly it is ignorance or poor communication or low situational awareness. They NEED you to let them know how they are affecting others. Approaching them with a spirit of humility rather than arrogance or pride or “I’m right” will greatly help you.

3. Get bold and free of intimidation – not wishy washy or afraid of ‘death.’ Where have you partnered with fear and intimidation that you need to repent of before moving forward with this confrontation? How may have this behavior on your part enabled the situation? Own your part then move forward without shame or hesitation.

4. Get clear on intended outcome – What do you want as a result of this confrontation? What could that look like? The clearer you are on what you need as an outcome, the clearer you can move into the confrontation.Again, check your assumptions: Is this outcome realistic? Is it do-able? How could this intended outcome be interpreted by the other person(s) involved?

5. Get prayed up – There are always two sides to a situation, one seems right until the other is heard. Jesus is the only source of all truth and wisdom and He gives you insight, questions to ask, courage to ask it and comfort when/if it goes bad. Be strong and courageous!
For more, check out these resources:

Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Crucial Conversations by Vital Smarts

Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality.He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development.Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, CA. For more see www.AndyandJanine.com.