Dealing with Conflict

Mount Hood National Forest Road Sign with BulletholesDo I really seem like the guy to ask about dealing with issues?  Well, I’m certainly not perfect, but I can share a few things.  These are just a few things I learned in life that apply to relationships, family, ministry teams, church and dealing with co-workers.

For a few months I studied a martial art called Aikido.  I was terrible at it, but it was still good to practice.  The philosophy of Aikido is when attacked you don’t meet it head on, but you do sidesteps and defensive holds in order to protect yourself while trying not to hurt the other person

It can be a philosophy for life as well.  I think it’s important to voice your opinion and stand strong in that, but be able to avoid hurting the other person.  Easier said than done I know.

When you contest wills and neither wants to budge, either you lose which sucks, or you defeat the other person, hurting them.  The idea is to solve a problem, not hurt them.  And if you really want that kind of power at the expense of another you have a problem.  Another thing that can happen is you both walk away.  Not cool.  Fix those gaps if they’re there.

In negotiation the “win-lose” method is strictly trying to win at the other person’s loss.  The “win-win” method involves looking at all sides of the issue and learning what the other person wants and what you want.  An example is the orange where both want the orange, but for different purposes.  On want to eat the orange, and the other want to use the peel for a cake.  Easy win-win solution: instead of splitting the orange just give one the peel and one the fruit.  Everyone’s happy. Yay.

All I can say is while voicing opinion, listen, respect the other person, and be willing to admit when you know you’re wrong about something and be willing to try to change.  Know that as human beings we’re inherently flawed and need grace to get through life, both with you and the other person.

And despite was Gibbs says, apologizing is not always a sign of weakness.  But also don’t keep track of the wrongs of the other person that have been apologized for.

If it’s something they might or might not be right about, say you’ll at least think about what they said.  Sometimes it’s enough for the other person to know you’re at least listening and open even if you don’t agree entirely.

Email, texts, notes and whiteboard messages are handy for quick messages, appointments and that sort of thing.  But conflicts are much better handled in person.  Trust me on this, I’ve learned this the hard way.  It might seem easy, because you don’t have to face the other person, but it can blow up in your face.

Praise the other person.  Notice when they’ve changed.

But here’s where it’s tough.  While doing all that, you must avoid passivity.  While Jesus was humble, He also voiced His opinions very strongly.

First of all, talk it over.  Many things you need to let go, but some things are just too much and no matter how intense the conflict is, it’s better than holding anger.

If it’s a leader, show respect in every way you can.

Many times, just “agree to disagree.”

If there’s ever someone you have trouble getting along with.  Try praying for them.  Pray many blessings over them, before any “change them” prayers.  Also pray a lot of “change me” prayers.  You’ll often be amazed at how you’ll start seeing the same person later on.

Anyway, I tried to keep it short and sweet for you guys.  Those are basic points.  If any point struck as something to think about, go ahead and dwell.  Try it out.

Category: Personal Growth, Relationships |

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