John Maxwell on Confrontation as Clarification

"I want to encourage you to change how you define the conversation you need to have. Instead of seeing your mission as confronting an individual, think of it as clarifying the team’s needs. This doesn’t mean coddling the person, or minimizing the issue at hand. But a positive perspective on the conversation will make the whole task less daunting for you. And using words of clarification can make it feel like less of a personal attack to the person being corrected.


  1. Thou shalt confront others in private.
  2. Thou shalt confront as soon as possible and not look for “a better time.”
  3. Thou shalt stick to the issue at hand.
  4. Thou shalt make thy point and not repeat it.
  5. Thou shalt deal only with actions that can be changed.
  6. Thou shalt avoid sarcasm (especially in an email or text).
  7. Thou shalt avoid words like always and never because they are rarely accurate.
  8. Thou shalt ask questions and offer suggestions.
  9. Thou shalt not apologize for the confrontation.
  10. Thou shalt remember to highlight the person’s positive contributions."

From the original published by The John Maxwell Company