There are two types of confrontation.
One creates resentment, the other builds a connection.
Here they are:
Confront the person.
Confront the issue.
Here is how the two might sound in action:
"You have a problem because you are constantly late. You need to fix it."
"You've been late a lot recently. We need to solve this."
Confront the person and they'll likely shut down.
Confront the issue and they are more likely to open up.
Put another way...
Ears don't open just because a mouth does.
Try making a withdrawal from an overdrawn bank account. It doesn't work. It's the same thing with our words. If we haven't developed the trust to speak into someone's life, the words won't mean anything.
How can we expect to build a person up by tearing them down simultaneously?
Build them up, and offer to help remove the issue collectively.
Confronting a person might get them to back down. They might even agree with everything we say. But...they are doing it so we'll stop. They are agreeing they want the confrontation to be over, not to taking the steps to correct the behavior. Why? Because we haven't helped them find any. We fixed it but we didn't solve it.
Confronting the issue allows for someone to trust us. They are far more likely to feel comfortable opening up to us. When that wall comes down, we can speak truth that will be received. It empowers them to take that seed, plant it, and be proud of the solutions that come from it.
1. Confronting the person creates a division within your team. (Yes...teammates talk)
2. Confronting the issue is an opportunity to build emotional equity.
3. Build the trust found in #2 and you'll find a culture people will flock to.