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Being clear in your own mind makes it easier to be clear with others when they cross that line."Can we have a chat this morning, please? There's nothing wrong with a bit of time for self-reflection . Cursing and insulting might discharge your frustrations in the short-term, but not as much as actually getting them to change their ways will do in the long-term. They can argue with "You...", but not with "I..."; if you tell someone you feel let down, they can't actually argue with how you feel (even if they think you shouldn't feel like that).Stick to facts to avoid messiness: "I've noticed you have been playing your music loudly until 1am." This is very different from knocking on the door and shouting: "What do you think you're doing? these changes will benefit you both:"Okay, in future can we please agree that if you have something to say to another staff member, you will talk to them in the office where clients can't hear and refrain from shouting?Known for having her finger firmly attached to the workplace 'emotional temperature dial', she was apt to scream and shout, but also cunningly find and push any emotional buttons unwittingly presented to her.At least one colleague had been made tearful by this woman in the last week alone. Feeling like Gary Cooper in minus the glamour, heroism, or glory, I'd been rehearsing what I was going to say all morning.

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What is it about confrontation that can make us so uneasy?It's more to do with being clear in your own mind where the cut-off point lies before you say something. Make your own rules, and then respect yourself enough to stick to them.For example: "Okay, my neighbours have played loud music till late twice this week. When I likened that woman to a "kindergarten bully", it felt satisfying. She could sling my 'insults' back at me (especially as I was working within a professional capacity).So, with this in mind, let's look at the first rule of good confrontation practice.

Being good at handling confrontation doesn't mean needlessly shouting people out or creating problems where they didn't really exist.

I thought I had no particular fear of confrontation, but with her I wasn't so sure. She looked at me scornfully as if to say: "I may have to be here, but I don't have to listen. I've always felt that undue emotion should be kept out of the workplace, just as we should refrain from pouring cement mix into a car fuel tank if we're actually trying to get somewhere."What's all this about then?