Do you confront your team member’s destructive behavior? (171-3)
Confrontation is one of the toughest tasks of leadership; it takes real courage and is not without risks. Read Ezekiel 23:36-39.
God told Ezekiel to confront the people of Judah that were being held in exile in Babylon with some tough facts of their past that needed to be dealt with if God was to be honored. Ezekiel uses striking imagery as he tells the story of two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah, both prostitutes from their youth who freely gave themselves in detestable acts. Oholah and Oholibah are symbolic names for Israel and Judah who had not been faithful to God but had prostituted themselves by worshiping the gods of other nations. God told Ezekiel that his job as their moral leader was to confront the people and hold them accountable.
There will be times when every leader must confront destructive behavior on their team. No healthy leader enjoys confrontation but no healthy leader can or should avoid it. Occasionally confrontation may be the most loving thing a leader can do for a teammate. Initially a confrontation may seem negative but effective leaders confront to build others up not tear them down. In fact for a leader to confront a teammate they must care enough for that teammate to challenge wrong behavior. Without relationship and a desire to help a teammate improve most leaders would find it easier to remove the problem than confront a teammate’s conduct. I have found that quite often the most straightforward confrontations are reserved for leaders that care the most.
- Do you struggle with the face-to-face encounters that are challenging because they involve a confrontation? A few things to remember in the process are:
- Determine to value the person even though you must confront.
- Do not assume you both see the situation the same way.
- Don’t come into the confrontation with a loaded verbal rifle intending to shoot to kill.
- Be specific and clear as you describe the issue.
- Listen to the other side of the story and make just judgments based on truth not a pre-determined conclusion.
- Give hope for a resolution if there is in fact any hope of resolution.
- Establish a plan and criteria for restoration and the consequences if no progress is made toward correcting the issue.
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