Secrets of Leadership Part 1: The Art of Confrontation

There are many things no one tells you about leadership. Much of leadership skill is developed by trial and error rather than education and theory.

One of the skills that nobody really likes to talk about is CONFRONTATION.


It's a dirty word in some circles. Confrontation is not only necessary, but it’s helpful. Confrontation doesn't have to be negative. Confrontation is healthy.

There is always the ELEPHANT.

Confrontation usually has to deal with the elephant in the room.

A leader must deal with the elephant in the room and equip others to deal with elephants so we can maintain an atmosphere of peace and productivity.

Notice I didn't say COMFORT?

Dealing with the elephant isn't always easy. There are no black and white answers to confrontation. Comfort is not the goal of confrontation. Solving the issue is the goal of confrontation.

Most of us avoid confrontation because we confuse confrontation with cruelty or attack. Confrontation is merely addressing issues in a direct manner in an effort to bring resolution and often reconciliation. A restoration of focus is the key, whether it is in a company or a family or a ministry, whatever the setting.

Unfortunately, most of us avoid confrontation until we can't take it anymore. We're offended, frustrated, angry and defensive. We act out either aggressively or passively. Either way, we aren't being true to who we are.

We will begin to act out of character.

We will have effects on our body, soul and spirit.

If so, we have waited too long.

Here are some tips:


Let things simmer until they boil over.

Discuss people without their presence.

Rally troops to take sides.

Resort manipulation and control.

Build a case against someone.


Address situations and people directly.

Have a value people while maintaining our principles.

Come with a solution in mind.

Offer alternatives to the current status quo.

Listen without thinking of your reply.

Please consider, leaders, that you may have blind spots and may be part of the elephant problem. Consider that others around you are valuable, competent and creative. Believe in those you are leading, even if they disagree with you. Have authentic conversations full of hope and optimism.

If hope and optimism are a problem area for you, and you tend to be pessimistic and negative, make sure you place those around you who are opposite from you. As a leader, choose other leaders who have strengths that you do not. I help you to have eyes in your blind spots.

If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

Copyright © 2017-2018 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.

Secrets of Leadership Part 2: Confronting Difficult People

We all know them. Difficult people. 

Perhaps we are the difficult one.

People are difficult for all kinds of reasons. 

Leaders have a responsibility to lead difficult people. Difficult as they may be, the difficult person is valuable, talented and gifted. Leaders must address the difficult person with care just as much as their more compliant counterparts.

As leaders we have the obligation to manage the difficult people who bring difficult situations into the workplace, home or ministry, wherever we are leading people. 

There are ways of confronting difficult people and still preserving their freedom and dignity, no matter how much drama they may be causing. Confronting them, as trying as it may be to confront a difficult person, is very important to preserving focus and fruitfulness in the atmosphere. 

It is not helpful to avoid, cater to, or allow others to be subjected to the whims of the difficult person. Confrontation is necessary. There are keys to confronting the difficult person in a healthy way.

Here are some tips: 


Wait too long and let things build up before you confront.

Confront them in front of others. Find a safe space. 

Allow them to distract you from the bottom line issues. 

Lose control of yourself, such as losing your temper. 

Play dirty to get your point across, keep it clean.

Permit them to cross your personal boundaries. 

Participate when difficult people become abusive.Sacrifice your convictions in the face of fear.

Take things personally. 


Choose your battles wisely.

Be honest, direct and precise with your concerns. 

Stick with the "I feel" statements. Stay away from accusatory language such as "you always".

Be patient and keep to the point. 

Affirm their worth and listen carefully. 

Consider negotiation without participating in abuse or manipulation. 

Maintain the boundaries you set. 

Ask more questions than you give answers, you may find clues to resolving underlying issues. 

Remember that you are the leader. Behave accordingly. 

Please consider that often people are difficult for good reasons. Here are a few: 

Some personalities are more sensitive.

People may be under unique pressures in their life that you are unaware of, such as illness.

Grief and loss contribute to personal pain. Personal pain causes people to act out. 

Hurting people often hurt people. 

Keep in mind that people do come and go in our lives and there are times when letting someone go in order to preserve relationship is necessary. Perhaps they are not someone who is ready for your kind of leadership. Maybe there is a miss-match and they are not compatible with your team as a whole. Carefully consider all the factors in order to come to a resolution. 

Whatever the reason you must confront someone difficult, remember these three things: 

Keep your integrity intact.

Love and honor people in the condition they are in.

Lead with kindness and respect.

Copyright © 2017-2018 Toni Imsen. All Rights Reserved.