By Undre Griggs, Jr
Conflicts can arise among the closest of friends, family, and associates. Even the most trivial of matters have the ability to grow into something disruptive whenever strong feelings are involved. A leader’s ability to quickly resolve (or at least positively channel) these conflicts are essential to a team’s health.
Proverbs 17:14 (NIV): Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
Since conflicts are inevitable in every relationship, learning to deal with them in a way that is beneficial to all parties is crucial. When handled in a positive, constructive manner; conflicts provide an opportunity to grow and ultimately strengthen our bonds. At the root of most conflicts is the need for someone to feel they are being listened to, respected, and valued. An effective leader is going to foster an environment where each member of the team understands how they should speak to others.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV): For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Successful conflict resolution depends on our ability to: (1) accurately interpret verbal and nonverbal communication, (2) control our behavior and emotions, (3) pay attention to the feelings of others, and (4) be aware of and respect our differences.
James 1:19 (ESV): Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
One of the more difficult aspects of conflict resolution is our ability to restrain ourselves from escalating an issue further. When we perceive someone is disrespecting us, it is hard for us to keep from reciprocating. However, to resolve a conflict, we should remember; a soft answer turns away wrath, while hard words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1). While not always enjoyable in the moment, let us focus on extinguishing the flames, not kindling them.