SBM Articles


Is it Confrontation or Conversation?

by Dr. Deb Carlin

Make note of how often you find yourself on one side or the other of this equation of conversation versus confrontation. We take turns and play both sides of that depending upon the setting and the people involved. And then there is the matter of the topic, the content to be reviewed.

Confrontation is a meeting that is argumentative; it is a hostile situation.
Conversation is dialogue within an exchange of ideas and open sharing, friendly.

It is essential to know your perception with regard to this topic because it has to do with your role, your stance, your positioning, and whether you are passive, assertive, or aggressive. There is often an argument about these terms and what they mean, but there needn’t be:

Passive -- to accept and allow what happens without active response or resistance.
Assertive -- to overtly demonstrate confidence with active assured dominant behavior.
Aggressive -- entails an attacking, antagonistic, angry response overtly expressed.

When both parties are assertive, the chance that the dialogue will be actual conversation and productive is very high because both will share thoughts and feelings with an eagerness to be understood. When either party is passive or aggressive, the opportunity for one side to lose the ability to be heard and genuinely appreciated is lost. The interaction becomes a confrontation because there is an unequal stance.

In each business day, there are multiple conversations that are necessary and the participants cannot afford the luxury of passivity or aggressiveness – either breaks down morale and productivity between them and that is contagious in any group.

The question is consistently – are you positioning yourself for maximum healthy outcomes that produce mutual wins? If you give yourself a confident yes, terrific; move forward to teach others your skillful abilities. If not, look around and see who does an authentically good job of engaging fairly and assertively. Surround yourself with the people who will teach the healthy personality styles that gain you cooperation and ultimate resulting success. No kidding, these good people are all around you, just look.

Dr Deb Carlin is President of Partners in Excellence LLC. Awarded numerous accolades given her leadership, authoring, speaking, and teaching. For more information, visit

Submitted 4 years 320 days ago
Categories: categoryBuilding Inner Strength
Views: 2750