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Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!

Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!

Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!
Conflict or Collaboration … I am convinced that we get to decide which of these will prevail … and that it is our choices that will make this decision for us.

We should instinctively resist every expression of conflict that becomes divisive or devouring and intentionally redeem every opportunity to create collaboration which seeks to promote unity in diversity and agreement in the preferred outcomes to be achieved.

I have spent my life seeking to be a peace-maker.

I know that this is a noble call … one that Christ Himself initiated in Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

I also know that my commitment to being a peace-maker is a matter of my personal DNA.

There has always been a longing in my heart to reconcile relational brokenness, maintain unity and advocate for peace.

However, the presence of conflict is both predictable and inevitable … and while it can be quite negative … conflict managed correctly is actually very constructive, clarifying and even commendable.

The scriptures show us the value of both and teach us exactly how to respond.

There is an enduring struggle … to reckon with the sovereignty of God and the command to surrender all to Him, to deal with the lingering presence of intense personal struggles, to manage conflicts between churches/individuals, as well as to seek solutions for relational challenges in marriages/families.

There are classic examples of all of this throughout the Word of God and we are given clear instructions on how to take on all of these.

Thus, there is no surprise in knowing that we will confront conflict.

Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!
Our goal is not to attempt to do away with conflict but rather to skillfully manage conflict so that it leads to collaboration.

The best way to achieve this is to model sincere humility, to develop a strong commitment to reconciliation and to nurture mutual understanding.

In making these choices a priority we will see that the transition from conflict to collaboration can become a reality.

Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!
Beth Williams in her article ‘Rebuild Trust To Take Your Employees From Conflict To Collaboration’ shares what she calls her “proven seven-step process to turn conflict on its head.”

All seven steps are spectacular and worthy of being considered but I specifically want to share these three.

Step 4: Help people to see the conflict in context
When in conflict, people tend to refocus. They lose sight of the big picture, and instead put their effort into winning what they now consider to be an important personal battle. Refocus their energy by reminding them of joint goals, and the benefits of collaboration.

Step 5: Encourage people to take responsibility
Now that minds have been refocused, the big picture re-established, and emotional responses identified, it is time to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions. Discuss what lessons have been learned, and then help people to understand that their emotional response is itself a causation of the emotional response of others in the conflicted state.

Step 6: Insist on forgiveness
Only through forgiveness can people move on. This must include the acknowledgement of broken trust, and agreement to learn from the experience. This doesn’t mean forgetting what caused the conflict. Indeed, to learn lessons and ensure the same mistakes aren’t repeated is essential. We must remember why those mistakes were made and the emotional effects they caused.

These are words of wise counsel and they echo the message that we truly want to embrace.

So, here are our next steps …

▪ Be accepting of this responsibility
▪ Be aware of every word spoken!
▪ Be attentive to every action taken
▪ Be actively engaged in getting this right

Conflict And Collaboration Are Both Created Realities … So Be Absolutely Committed To Life-giving Choices!
I know these are the choices that I want to make … and you!

– Terry –

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