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Confrontation is not a 'four letter' word. Neither should it employ certain four letter words. To confront simply means to meet face-to-face. A confrontation adds dynamic of differing opinions. It is possible to have a conversational confrontation when folks have skills and willingness.
Verbal violence is most often a scream for attention, a misguided demand for respect or an attempt to exert control. All three come from fear. Certainly, you can understand those fears, however, two things must happen to make workplace safe. The violator must change his or her ways, and, violated must express their boundaries. Verbal violence is clearly harassment. It has no place in workplace. Yes, every now and then, mistakes are made, tempers flare and apologies are accepted. That goes with territory of being human. It is when verbal violence is a management style that steps must be taken. Whether you are managing other folks or managing your personal life, violence leads to alienation, very thing violator is seeking most to avoid!
First things first. If you are violator, stop! Step away and reflect on your needs for attention, respect and control. Are they healthy? Are they serving you well? Are they appropriate in this circumstance? If not, find help. If you are violated, remember, anytime that you take their bait and participate in verbal violence loop, you are letting them get away with it. Anytime you cower and retreat, you are also letting them get away with it. Simply say that you find treatment unacceptable and that you are willing to have conversation when it can be done in a respectful dialogue and move away. Yes, I know that sounds simple and is not always easy. It's your first step. Also tell violator that, if change does not occur, your next step is to inform a higher authority of verbal violence, harassment. Then, do it.
+++ Remember, you are responsible for teaching people how to treat you...everywhere.
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD Keynotes, Seminars & Coaching for entrepreneurs & professionals who want the motivation & strategies to achieve, to lead and to live richly. Creator of the Living Richly™ Program Host of Living Richly™ on www.wsRadio.ws. Author of OPTIMIZE Your Day! Practical Wisdom for Optimal Living Optimize Life Now! San Diego, CA www.OptimizeLifeNow.com