There is nothing easy about confront

A guest post by Mike Edwards from his blog.

In a past job I was tasked with helping teams improve. Long story short … one of the Directors would parachute into a team meeting occasionally and bully people into doing what he believed they should do. His behavior involved an adversarial tone & body language, banging fist on the table, and just simply pushing until he got his own way.

I believed it was my responsibility to hold a mirror up to help him see the impact his actions were having on teams. The complication is that I reported directly to this Director. I lived with a knot in my stomach for about a week as I procrastinated while I ‘prepared’ to confront him. Not a great feeling! Finally after about a week I did confront him.

I learned a LOT about people, teams and myself as a result of experiences like this. With all of my coaching skills I now hold I know I would approach this discussion differently now. The whole experience of confronting my manager was not a good one. In retrospect it was actually the start of the end of my days working for this company (not necessarily a bad thing). However, it pales in comparison to my experience of confronting my own actions. defines Confront as “face up to and deal with (a problem or difficult situation)“. My Director was certainly a difficult situation as I had to tough out the reaction I knew would be coming my way for speaking up. This confront experience had a limited shelf life though, the butterflies would calm down and life would go on.

When I confront myself though I cannot escape. It lingers in my head for hours, days and sometimes weeks. It might even keep me awake at night. Those little voices start talking where I ask myself “I can’t believe I let myself get this way”. Sound familiar?

In my last post I talked about denial. Denial is a protection mechanism to avoid something uncomfortable for a period of time. As Christopher Avery commented, living in denial is not bad, it’s just something we humans do.

The Three Keys to ResponsibilityTM are Intention, Awareness and Confront. I can remember almost 2 years ago when I joined The Leadership Gift ProgramTM I thought I knew what confront meant. At the time I would confront myself on what I thought were big issues (little did I know). I now see the ability to confront myself much like a muscle I need to build and exercise.  Initially I would confront small things. Then with time this muscle became stronger, and I started taking on bigger things within me.

So why am writing about this now? I believe I’m becoming well versed in what it means to confront. I have spent a lot of time in the past year confronting myself, who I am, and what is my purpose in this world.

For example, last year I confronted a fairly big one. It led to me deciding to enter a program which will result in my being a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. If you know me, certification isn’t the goal, it’s only a by-product of my efforts to be better. What I want more than anything is to become really good at serving others as their coach, regardless of whether I’m working with an individual or team. With each experience I now know I am focused on the right things and I can truthfully say “I have the best job ever!”

I’ve uncovered lots of areas where I was living in denial and am confronting them. I know there will be more in the future but the reward is incredible:

The opportunity to approach life free, powerful, and at choice!

What is possible if you are free, powerful, and at choice in your life?



Mike - HeadshotMike is a member of The Leadership Gift Program and professional coach working with people and teams as they design an effective work & personal life. In his 27 year career Mike has held many positions in IT & business across numerous industry sectors. He has led many great teams and always tried to inspire them to be their best. Five years ago Mike altered his career path and started to increasingly take a coaching stance to feed a passion to help others increase their effectiveness.

Mike is a founding board member of Leanintuit, a team of Agile Coaches helping to improve our world. Mike is studying to become a Co-Active Coach with CTI Coaching Institute. Mike speaks and teaches many times each year at conferences and other professional events internationally. Mike shares his thoughts regularly through his blog and enjoys hearing of others experiences.


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Posted in Responsibility on 01/26/2015 01:06 am
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