Carefrontation vs Confrontation

Two people having a respectful and empathetic conversation, symbolizing carefrontation

Carefrontation vs. Confrontation

You might be wondering, what in the world is Carefrontation?

Carefrontation is when you must face a situation, but you approach it with care and compassion.

Recently, I was at a work site, and the company requested my opinion on whether someone might be using drugs.

When I walked up to the person, I could tell they were down. Their faces looked sad, and their body language clearly showed they were going through a tough time.

To make things worse, this new guy was heading over to talk to her. She had noticed me talking to the company leaders, so she thought I was there to fire her, even though that wasn’t the case.


As I walked up to her, my goal was to find out what was going on with her and just get close enough to see if I could spot any signs of possible drug use.

After chatting with her for about 5 minutes, I got her to open up. Then I realized she wasn’t using drugs but was going through a tough time in her life.

She shared everything that was going on, and honestly, I would have felt down too. She was dealing with a lot, and none of it was easy.

I recommended that they don’t send her home. Instead, they should pair her up with someone she can connect with and trust for the next few days.

After around 3 days, they called me and said she was totally different from when I first met her.

What fantastic news!

I had two choices when I went to talk to her to see if she might be using something.

Option one: act defensively and be cautious, which will make them defensive too. Avoid personal topics, and don’t care about their feelings or what’s happening in their life.

When we approach someone like this, it makes them defensive right away and more likely to do something they might regret later.

It also makes them shut down and not say anything because they’re afraid it might be misunderstood.

I don’t like saying it, but this is how most managers handle situations.

They get right in the employee’s face and insist on an answer immediately! (We’ve all had a boss like that before; in fact, I’ve had several.)

Option 2: When you face any situation, try to understand why it’s happening. Look for the reasons rather than just searching for a solution.

Often, we can’t fix a problem until we figure out what caused it in the first place. I’m quite handy with mechanics (thanks to my dad, lol). So, let’s think of this as fixing a car issue.

If someone says, “I don’t know what happened, but my car suddenly stopped and won’t start again!” does that give you enough information to figure out the problem?

Nope! But if they came and said, “I was driving down the road the other day, going about 120 mph in 3rd gear, the tachometer was up around 6,000 RPM, and then suddenly I heard this huge BAM under the hood. So, I pulled over, and there was a ton of oil coming out of my exhaust.”

Learning what happened before the problem occurred gives you a better understanding of the situation and how to handle it.

That’s why I use Carefrontation in every situation. It helps me genuinely understand what’s causing the problem, so I can get to the root of the issue and fix it, rather than just dealing with surface-level things that won’t really solve the whole problem.

Sure, it might take a bit more time, but in the end, it makes a big difference in how the situation is managed.

Here are a few tips to make sure you always opt for confrontation instead of confrontation in the future.

Tip 1: When you’re dealing with a situation, pause and ask yourself, What’s the real cause of this problem?

By trying to find the main cause of the problem, you’re less likely to overreact. Instead of just looking for a quick fix, you’re genuinely trying to solve the issue. Remember, the only way to truly heal sick oak trees is to treat the roots.

Tip 2: Before accusing anyone, take time to have a conversation.

Making accusations only creates bad feelings and makes people silent. Just like us, others shut down when someone tries to accuse them of something they didn’t do or didn’t understand.

So, before jumping to accusing someone of something, take a few moments to talk with everyone involved.

A good example is the other day when we made a small mistake with one of our accounts. We rushed and pressed the wrong button, and suddenly, our account got deleted!

I had two choices. The first one was to get upset and scold the person who made the mistake. Or, I could just smile, look at him, and say, “Well, how do we fix it?” The second option is always the better one.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Why let the past bother you? Stop overthinking it and start looking forward.

Tip 3: This is likely the most crucial tip for using carefrontation. The third tip is to always leave your ego behind.

What do you mean, Dan? I don’t have an EGO!

Guess what?

We all have egos. If you truly want to start using this carefrontation approach, you have to set aside your ego before you go and talk to anyone about a situation or issue.

If you have an ego, they’ll let theirs show too. Then, things escalate, and I’m sure you know what happens next.

Next time you face a situation, try dealing with it using carefrontation. Take time to understand the real problem and find the root cause.

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