Yesterday I went to a training at work that we’re required to attend within the 1st year of working there called “Peer Coaching.” We learned how to “coach” and how to “receive coaching.” For example, if we hear someone being too casual on a phone-interview we should address that, or if someone is surfing the web, ebay, personal emails etc. we should address that. The goal is a team spirit, working for excellence and bettering the team.
Some of the advice sounded a very familiar bell (note the * in this paragraph and compare them to the next). On the receiving end of “coaching”, we’re advised to “take a deep breath,” “hear what the issue is and not focus on the person addressing the issue.”* On the coaching end, we should start with something positive, address the issue and end with something positive **. The sandwich method (I have other words for that, like the sugar-coat bologna sandwich… I understand the reasoning behind the “sandwich” but as one with the (not always pleasant) gift of discernment, I often see right through that…just get to the point without the fake niceties…) Finally, if we are unable to resolve the issue, we should get a neutral 3rd party to give his/her thoughts.***
Now, I hate confronting people. Hate it. (Don’t get me wrong, I have NO problem with it under my own roof… but that’s another issue and another blog…) I am always worried what “needs “ to be said will be received wrong, will offend or will cause a conflict rather than resolve an issue. However, aren’t we supposed to confront certain things? **Galatians 6:1 says, “If someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves to you won’t be tempted also.” Two key conditions, 1) who are spiritual and 2) with a gentle spirit. I think that’s one of my hang-ups, is that I know how hard it is for me to “be spiritual” as I have to purpose in my heart daily, sometimes moment by moment, to stay close to God, be filled with His word and walk in His Spirit. So, at what point am I “spiritual” enough to confront someone else’s issue??? On the receiving end, the Bible says in Proverbs 15:5, *”A person who heeds correction is sensible.” We should be open to having someone give us advice, point out a “wrongdoing.” Matthew 18 also provides an outline of what to do to “restore a brother”. Start by addressing the issue alone, and if there is no resolution, “take one or two more with you… to establish the facts.”***
So, now that we understand that we should sometimes confront things, what are some reasons that we don’t? Yesterday’s training pointed out some reasons, and for me those applied to my life as well. Some reasons we don’t want to confront issues:
1) We hope someone else will take care of it.
2) We ignore the problem and hope it will just go away.
3) We avoid conflict, period.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! How do you or how have you dealt with confrontation in the past? How do you or how have you dealt with receiving “constructive criticism” in the past?