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Care-Fronting is Confronting in a Caring Way
Care-fronting works like showing people their reflections in a mirror or having them watch a videotape of themselves. They get a perspective on themselves that they cannot achieve any other way.
Care-fronting is not trying to motivate people to change by condemning them. Sometimes we are tempted to try to get people to change by making them feel guilty. Instead, we should firmly but lovingly communicate how their actions are affecting us and then leave the results to God. This way the change will be sincere, not the result of manipulation.
Care-Fronting Risks Conflict
Five Options for Dealing with Conflict
I GIVE IN.
I WILL MEET YOU HALFWAY.
I CARE ENOUGH TO CONFRONT.
Carefully Frame Your Words to Help a Person Level and Respond Honestly
Focus your feedback on descriptions, not judgments. Do not comment on another's behavior as nice or rude, right or wrong. Use a clear, accurate description in neutral language. When a value judgment is received, there is a momentary break in contact. Example: "I am aware that your reply to my request for information was silence. Please tell me what this means."
Focus feedback on ideas, information, and alternatives, not advice and answers. Comment not with instructions on what to do with the data you have to offer but with the data, the facts, the additional options. The more options that are available, the less likely it is that a person will come to a premature solution. Example: "I have several other options that you may have thought about, but let me run them by you again."
Focus feedback not on why but on what and how. "Why" critiques values, motives and intents. "Why" is judgmental; "what" and "how" relate to observable actions, behaviors, words, and tone of voice. Example: "Here is where we are; let's examine it."
Care-fronting should be done in a caring, gentle, constructive, and clear manner. Never care-front in a way that could be interpreted as blaming, shaming, or punishing.
Taken from Living Free Coordinator's Guide, Jimmy Ray Lee and Dan Strickland, Turning Point, Chattanooga, TN, 1999, pp 127-129. Used by permission
Adapted from the book Caring Enough to Confront by David Augsburger, copyright by Herald Press. Scottdale, PA 15683. Used by permission