Working through Conflict

Do you ever struggle with getting good results from conflicts?  Know anyone with this challenge?  Check out some stuff that could help 🙂
Let me be the first to say that I’m writing this blog about resolving conflicts not from a place of success nor superiority.  Rather, I’m writing this out of a long & deplorable list of failures I’ve experienced from unsuccessfully trying to resolve conflicts constructively. My failures that I list below may help you & I’ll bet you could add some wisdom on this topic with a comment after you read some of my shortfalls below:
  • Forgiveness isn’t optional – it’s part of the package no matter how the conflict turns out. Forgiveness keeps your heart healthy & functional
  • Motives – if you come to a conflict with hurtful motives (I’m going to pay them back, I’m going to teach them a lesson, . . . . ), then you’re not really serious about resolving the conflict. Instead you’re merely perpetuating your intransigence
  • Accusations & words like “always” & “never” contribute to escalating rather than diffusing the conflict
  • Disrespect doesn’t help but rather hinders any resolution
  • Seek to understand before being understood – thanks Stephen Covey for this helpful wisdom!
  • Emotions are important but they cannot be allowed to control the conversation if the conflict is going to be resolved
  • Be responsible for your garbage – thinking that conflict is entirely the other person’s fault is foolish
  • Define the real issue & work on that before going off on tangents or tirades
  • Finish the conflict with assessment, “Are you comfortable with the outcome of this discussion?  Do you feel like I understand your concerns?  Could I have talked through this better & how?”
  • Seasons & Reasons – Joyce Meyer says that God puts relationships into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime (these are rare); consider that relationships go through seasons & purposes so stay flexible to allow God to redefine a relationship (deeper, less close, more shallow, etc).
We all have conflicts in our relationships. Let’s ask The Helper to help us grow & improve our communication & conflict resolution skills 🙂

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