This was a time of confrontation. Confrontations has a couple of important meanings all of which relate to the situation I found myself in. They are :
a focussed comparison; bringing together for a careful comparison
discord resulting from a clash of ideas or opinions
a hostile disagreement face-to-face
I then confronted the teenager about the possible ramifications of her irresponsible beauviour:
a) her own safety, the safety of her friend and the safety of other students at the school
b) the well being of the horses
c) liability issues for both her and myself..
d) the possibility of loosing her right to ride again.
Confrontation is difficult. There are no two ways about that. Sometimes it's because we lack confidence, knowledge or skills, but it could also be that we have the wrong attitude. Confrontation that is harsh and based on unresolved hostility or frustration, and lacks empathy or respect will in the long run be destructive to both parties.
The success or failure of confrontation usually depends on the quality of the relationship between the two parties before the confrontation occurred. The more clearly we have shown our care and concern and respect for the other person the more likely they will be open to not only hearing what we have to say but also taking it seriously.
- Is this the right approach to the issue and the right technique to use with this person at this time?
- Is the other person likely to benefit from what I have to say?
- Am I the right person to be taking on this role or should it be someone else?
- How might it impact on other people involved or connected to this person?
- Do I have a plan? The what, where, when and how of confronting this person.
The outcome of my own experience is still in progress. the young person concerned has created some distance between us (emotionally). I hope this means she is considering what I had to say and not smoldering with resentment. Only time will tell.
What has been your experience and do you have any tips that might help me or others engage in more successful outcomes when we confront people we care about?