CAREfrontation vs Confrontation

CAREfrontation vs Confrontation

You might be thinking what heck is CAREfrontation?

Carefrontation is when you need to confront a situation, but you utilize your ability to care as you deal with the situation.

Not too long ago I was at a Jobsite and the company asked me if I would give them my opinion on someone to see if they were possibly using drugs.

As I approached the person I could see that they were visibly depressed.  Their face was downcast, and their body expressions were easily readable as someone who was having a rough time.

Then to make it worse this new guy was walking over to chat with her and she had already seen me talking to the leadership of the company, so she KNEW that I was there to fire her. (Even though that was NOT the case)


As I walked up to her I approached her with the intention to see what was going with her and just get close enough to see if I could see any signs of possible drug use.

After about 5 minutes of talking to her, I was able to get her to open up. Then after that, I knew that she was not using drugs, but instead was going through a HUGE rough patch in her life. 

She told me all about what was happening, and the truth is that I would have been depressed as well. She was handling a lot and none of it was easy.

I suggested that they do NOT send her home, but instead put her with someone else for the next few days that she could relate with and open up to.  Someone who was trustworthy.

After about 3 days they called me back and said that she was a completely different person from when I had met her.

What great news!

You see I had two options when I approached her to see if she might have been using. 

Option one: Be defensive and on guard so that it makes them on guard. Talk about nothing personal and don’t care about how they feel or what is going on in their life.

When we approach someone with this demeanor it automatically puts them on defense and makes them more likely to do something that they would regret later. 

Also, it causes them to “clam” up and not say anything, because they don’t want it to be taken the wrong way. 

I hate to say it, but this is the approach most managers take when it comes to dealing with situations.

They get up in the employee’s face and DEMAND an answer RIGHT NOW!  (We have all had the boss before, shoot I have had several like that)

Option 2: when you approached any situation look for why what’s happening is happening.  Try to find the answer instead of just looking for the solution.

Many times, we can’t solve a problem until we know what caused it in the first place.

I’m pretty mechanically minded (you can blame my dad for that, lol). So, let’s look at this as a car problem.

If someone came to you and said, “I don’t know what happened, but my car just stopped running and won’t start anymore!”

Does that really help you diagnose the issue?


But if they came to you and said, “I was driving down the road the other day, going about 120 mph in 3rd gear, the tachometer was up around 6,000RPM and then all of a sudden I heard this huge BAM under the hood, so I pulled over and then there was a ton of oil coming out of my exhaust.”

You see learning what lead up to the problem gives you a whole new feel of what actually happened and how to deal with it.

That’s why I approach every situation with CAREfrontation so that I can truly learn what is causing the problem. So that I can find the root of the issue and treat it instead of some superficial thing that wot really fix the whole issue.

Yes, it takes a little more time, but in the end, it makes a HUGE difference in how the situation is handled.

Here are a few keys that you can use to make sure that you always use carefrontation instead of confrontation in the future.

Key 1: As you approach the situation stop and say to yourself, what is the root of this issue?

By attempting to track down the root of the problem you will be more likely not to overreact because you are not looking for a band-aid solution you are truly attempting to solve the issue.

Remember the only way to truly heal sick oak trees is to treat the roots.

Key 2: Take time to talk before making any accusations.

Makin g accusations only cause hard feelings and people to “clam” up.  Others, just like us, shut down when someone is trying to accuse us of something that we didn’t do or don’t understand.

So take a few moments to chat with everyone involved before you go straight into accusing someone of something that happened.

A great example is the other day we had a minor mishap with one of our accounts. We got in a hurry and pushed the wrong button, then all of a sudden our account was deleted!

I had 2 options. The first was to get upset and climb up the person who did its butt. Or I could simply smile, look at him and say, “well, how do we fix it?”

The second option is always the way to go. 

I’m sure you’ve heard don’t cry over spilled milk.  Why let the past bother you, stop analyzing it so hard, and start looking forward?

Key 3: This is probably the most important key to utilizing carefrontation. The third key is to always check your ego at the door.

What do you mean dan, I don’t have an EGO! 

Guess what?

We ALL have egos.

If you really want to start utilizing this whole carefrontation thing you have to check your ego before you go up and talk to anyone about a situation or issue.

If you have an ego then they will let theirs show though. Then all of a sudden it escalates, and I think you know what happens next.

Next time you have a situation to deal with, try handling it with carefrontation.  Take time to hear the real issue and find the root of the problem. 


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