Mike Staver: Hi, everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question. Short, sweet, to the point. Are you ready?

“Somebody told me I was being confrontational. I disagree. I think I was just confronting them about an issue. It occurred to me that perhaps I’m unclear on the difference. What’s the difference?”

Oh, this question’s a little confrontational.

The difference in confronting somebody and being confrontational has to do with style. Remember what your grandmama said, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”? Being confrontational has to do with pitch, tone, volume, and energy. If you’ve got an intense pitch, your volume’s up, your energy’s hot, then you’re going to be confrontational. That’ll be very confrontational. If you add to confrontational blame, or if you add to confronting attack, that’s confrontational. The difference is, I’m going to confront– I actually don’t even use the word “confront” because it gets confusing. I’m going to have a conversation with and address an issue, go address a challenge, address a problem and not be confrontational.

I think that’s a really good goal. My guess is that by the fact that you’re asking the question you probably are a little confrontational, you probably do probably have an edge, I’m not judging, but pay attention to it. When the person says you’re being confrontational, lean into that and ask the questions. Right? Do you guys think that it’s mostly style?

Johnny: Yes.

Marty: 100%. 80% of communication is nonverbal. That’s your pitch, your tone, your body language.

Johnny: I also feel like confrontational has a connotation that you’re constantly confronting things-

Mike: Oh.

Johnny: -where it feels like it’s an operational mode that you’re in-

Mike: Got it.

Johnny: -versus just confronting something maybe once or twice, but I think each problem that you have come across requires a different level of confrontation, too. If you’re constantly hitting it at like a 10, then maybe you’re a little confrontational.

Mike: Yes. You might be a little hot there, a little confrontational. There you go. Three great pieces of advice for you. I hope it was helpful.

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