Thanks to Debbie: her response to Wednesday’s blog set up today’s.
The second way the shift can from Persecutor to Challenger can happen is probably the most challenging, which is to transform yourself from showing up as a Persecutor to a being a Challenger of others. The primary requirement to effectively make the transition is to be clear of your intentions – the reasons why you are choosing to challenge the other person.
If your intention is to prove to others that you are right and they are wrong, then chances are you will be seen as a Persecutor. If you sense defensiveness for others, it is usually an indication that they perceive you as a Persecutor.
If the reason for the challenge is to help the other learn, develop or grow – if what you have in mind is their highest good and/or the health of your relationship – then communicate the challenge to them and do so with compassion! And the way to show compassion is to clearly communicate your intention along with the challenge itself.
It is one thing to say: “You were a real jerk in that meeting!” (a comment that will certainly land as a Persecutor) and quite another to say something like: “Your outburst in the meeting was not very effective! I’d like to explore options with you on how to deal with such conflict in the future because I want you to be seen as a constructive and contributing member of the team.” In this statement, what is being challenged is clear as well as why you are challenging the other.
In the end, how the other receives your challenge is their choice. However, if you consciously think through the challenge by becoming aware of the intention and communicating both the challenge and the intention behind it, you will drastically increase the possibility that they will see you as a Challenger rather than a Persecutor.