10 Tips for Handling Conflict

In every life situation involving people, whether among family, friends, or co-workers, there will be potential for conflict.  In fact, if relationships are normal, conflict is inevitable.  It seems to reason then that learning to deal with conflict successfully should be our goal, especially those of us who desire to lead organizations.

Here are 10 tips for more effective handling of conflict in your life:

  1. Understand the battle.  What is the real source of the conflict?  Make sure you are addressing with the real issue.
  2. Find the right time and place to confront the conflict.  When emotions are high is not good timing for dealing with conflict.  Personal conflict should not be handled in public.
  3. Examine yourself first.  Sometimes, the issue is personal to you, and you are only blaming others for your problem.
  4. Consider the other side of the conflict.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their viewpoint in the conflict.
  5. Do not overreact to the issue or overload on emotion.  Stick to the issue at hand.
  6. Do not dance around or sugarcoat the issue or disguise it in false kindness.  Sometimes, we fail to address the conflict because we are afraid of how the other person may respond or we are afraid of hurting feelings.  The avoidance usually will cause more conflict eventually.
  7. Do not allow the small disagreements to become big disagreements without confronting them along the way.  Minor conflict is always easier to handle than major conflict.
  8. Be firm but gentle.  Learn the balance between the two.
  9. Work towards a solution.  Never waste conflict, but use it to make the organization and relationships better.  The best-case scenario is a win-win situation, but ultimately, the conflict needs to be resolved with the right solution.
  10. Grant forgiveness easily and do not hold a grudge or seek revenge.  Healthy teams handle conflict and allow it to make the organization stronger.

Those are my suggestions.  How do you handle conflict?  

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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