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A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution

By Rodger Schmidt

When two or more people interact for a long enough period, conflict happens. It is inevitable. Dr. Silcox claims unresolved conflict preys on peoples’ minds and distracts them from their most important tasks. Individuals in ongoing conflict rarely contribute well to the organization’s mission and strategy. Therefore, Individuals may simply be going through the motions, or undermining the organization in some way.

The following questions and related principles are helpful to consider while managing the inevitable reality of conflict:

  • Are there perceived inequities in how people are treated? Inequities can create jealousy and trigger some to become silent and or uncooperative. “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:8-9 NIV) Principle: Every member of the team is equally heard and valued.
  • Are there unclear or understated expectations or communication? The most common source of conflict is a misunderstanding about what individuals desire, expect or are doing. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20 ESV) Principle: Clear expectations are essential to healthy communication and strong teams.
  • What systems and cultural characteristics promote conflict? A corporate environment that is too rigid can create cultural divides or strongholds suppressing the possibility of resolution and creates win-lose situations. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:7-8 ESV) Principle: Everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to contribute.
  • Develop a value statement about conflict. This statement recognizes the value of conflict and the importance of seeking mutually satisfying solutions. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14). Principle: To be part of the team is to stay engaged in conflict until a healthy resolution is achieved.

Conflict is inevitable and must be managed. Conflict is also essential for strong relationships that are rooted in understanding, common purpose, and vision.

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1(Silcox, 2010) Silcox, D. (2010, June 1). Conflict is Inevitable, Mange It. In the Achievement Center. Retrieved June 30, 2020, from