A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution

By Rodger Schmidt 

Many leaders avoid conflict at all costs. However, the most innovative solutions often are born out of conflict. The workplace is a dynamic environment, always needing to grow, change, find solutions, transition, and upgrade. Conflict is a regular element of everyday work life. If leaders manage conflict well, it will produce growth and leadership capacity in themselves and others (and the more enjoyable will be the experience of others in the workplace).  

Why is Conflict Necessary? 

Conflict encourages the leader to consider new ideas. If the participants truly hear one another’s perspectives and ideas, it helps to mold and clarify concepts; either making the leader clearer and more committed to the original position or open to new solutions presented by others. 

Every good gift and every perfect gift are from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV) 

  • Principle: Active listening is essential to clarity and creativity. Conflict helps leaders to articulate needs and wants. Conflict provides an opportunity to verbalize needs and to have them met. Leaders must balance taking a strong stand, limiting aggression, without being used by or manipulated by others. Conflict, confrontation, and clear communication make all the participants resilient and less fearful to express needs, wants, and desires. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians. 2:4 ESV) 
  • Principle: Courage and freedom to speak are essential to making strong unified decisions. Conflict teaches leaders flexibility. Conflict requires that others need to adjust their perspectives. Likewise, the leader will be required to adjust to the perspectives of others. Additions and subtractions must be made to any new idea to ensure the best decision is made. I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (I Corinthians 1:10 ESV) 
  • Principle: Flexibility encourages participation and decision making. Conflict teaches leaders to listen actively. One key to successful conflict resolution is the ability to listen. Many leaders are so focused on solutions they have little ability to listen. Healthy relationships and negotiations cannot be forged with defensive, dominating leaders. Listening takes patience and the discipline to control the impulse to speak. It requires the leaders to set aside their thoughts to fully hear and understand another perspective. When leaders listen actively, the leader gains valuable information required to make smart and wise decisions. And he said to them, Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.’” (Mark 4:24 ESV) 
  • Principle: The discipline of active listening is wise and produces better decisions. 

Conflict management should provide leaders better solutions. 

Thoughts on this series? 

Blogs in this Series:  

 

Campbell, S. (2016, July 28). The 10 Benefits of Conflict. In Entrepreneur. Retrieved from

Https://www.entrepreneru.com/artcile/279778

Hayashi, J. (2018, August 17). 5 steps to conflict resolution. In Biblical Leadership. Retrieved

July 3, 2020, from https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/5-steps-to-conflictresolution/