It's what I'm paid to do--I have been a "paid confronter" all my working life. No one pays you to walk up to the "trouble" of the day pat it on the head and say "oh, let's just ignore it".

There is though, an important clarification. While most people are greatly averse to confrontation, and I believe this is due to the fact that they incorrectly believe that all confrontation is bad--sometimes it is--the bad experiences notwithstanding, the real goal of any paid confronter/troubleshooting mercenary is "constructive confrontation".

Some components of "constructive confrontation" include:

  1. A clear agreement as to the scope of the problem at hand.
  2. An identification of resources available to confront the problem.
  3. Clarity about authority to undertake problem resolution.
  4. An understanding of possible satisfactory outcomes.
  5. A mutual commitment to persistent, dignified pursuit of those outcomes.

Not all of these components are easy, nor is each of them simultaneously present in every constructive confrontation, but it may be safely said that the presence or absence of these components may be considered a powerful differentiator between a more mutually satisfactory outcome and a useless pissing match.

In a subsequent article, I will discuss some of these components in greater detail.