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Managing Conflict on the Ministry Team

Managing Conflict on the Ministry Team

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Managing Conflict on the Ministry Team

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  1. Managing Conflict on the Ministry Team Asia Regional Equipping Seminar October 19, 2011

  2. The “starting point” • Restoration as the goal – 2 Cor. 13:9 (“your restoration is what we pray for”); 13:11 (“Aim for restoration”); Gal. 6:2 (“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”)

  3. The “starting point” • Restoration as the goal – 2 Cor. 13:9 (“your restoration is what we pray for”); 13:11 (“Aim for restoration”); Gal. 6:2 (“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”) • Leadership is responsible to help those in disagreement – Phil. 4:2-3 (“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel . . . whose names are in the book of life.”)

  4. Expectations relating to team conflict • “Preparing to manage conflict is an inevitable part of your leadership role.” (Iorg, 160-161).

  5. Expectations relating to team conflict • “Preparing to manage conflict is an inevitable part of your leadership role.” (Iorg, 160-161). • “A measured, deliberate response has a remarkable effect on conflict situations.” (161)

  6. Expectations relating to team conflict • “Preparing to manage conflict is an inevitable part of your leadership role.” (Iorg, 160-161). • “A measured, deliberate response has a remarkable effect on conflict situations.” (161) • “Friction is a natural part of a team’s development.” (Eunice Parisi-Carew, Blanchard Companies)

  7. Expectations relating to team conflict • “Preparing to manage conflict is an inevitable part of your leadership role.” (Iorg, 160-161). • “A measured, deliberate response has a remarkable effect on conflict situations.” (161) • “Friction is a natural part of a team’s development.” (Eunice Parisi-Carew, Blanchard Companies) • While restoration is the goal and hope, good leaders realize that not all cases of conflict will be resolved and members restored.

  8. Common Causes of Conflict • Failure to clarify the team’s purpose and goals (set out in a team charter) • Inadequate standards and plan for team accountability • Lack of resources to accomplish objectives of the team • Lack of effective leadership • Failure to establish clear norms governing the team’s function and dynamics (as in a team charter) • Poor or inadequate planning • Lack of management of team assignments and tasks • Inability of the team to deal with conflict appropriately

  9. Styles of Conflict Management • The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument identifies five common styles for handling conflict: • Competing – forcing a solution, win-lose default, the “shark” • Collaborating – care-fronting, the “owl” • Compromising – negotiating solution that is mutually agreeable, the “fox” • Avoiding – withdrawal, disengage and “clam up,” the “turtle” • Accommodating – give in to the most insistent party, the “teddy bear”

  10. Styles of Conflict Management • Accommodating • Collaborating • Compromising

  11. Developing Strategies • First things first • Holism • Objective observation • Measured/Suspended judgment • Cultural concession • Retaining a cultural insider as advisor

  12. Developing Strategies • Common Sense Rules (1): • 1. Ask whether this is worthy of attention or should be let go. • 2. Make your approach one of concern for the person and for preservation of the relationship. • 3. Seek understanding through inquiry before forming judgments and making accusations (or blaming). • 4. Separate facts from rumor, partial information, feelings and interpretation.

  13. Developing Strategies • Common Sense Rules (2): • 5. Consider how much stress the relationship can bear; this will tell you how much time and sensitivity will be required. • 6. Put yourself in the other person’s place and try to appreciate his or her perspective on the matter. • 7. Address behaviors rather than motivation. • 8. When you detect tense emotions or defensiveness, back up and give assurances of friendship and desire to understand.

  14. Developing Strategies • Common Sense Rules (3): • 9. Frequently acknowledge or summarize what the other person has said to assure accuracy of understanding for both parties. • 10. Believe a win-win resolution is possible if both parties can remain calm, understand each other’s interests and negotiate with integrity and fairness.

  15. Developing Strategies • Principles for Cross-cultural Conflict (see D. Elmer) (1) • 1. The degree to which shame, face and honor are core cultural values will determine how important it is to choose an indirect method. • 2. If the other person has had extensive exposure to Western culture, sensitive directness may be acceptable, understood and not offensive. • 3. All forms of confrontation should occur in private, if possible, so as to minimize any loss of face. • 4. Familiarize yourself with the stories, parables, fables, legends and heroes of a culture in order to appropriately interpret their use in conflict situations.

  16. Developing Strategies • Principles for cross-cultural Conflict (see D. Elmer) (2) • 5. Understand the various indirect methods used in the non-West and be alert to which ones are used and under what circumstances. • 6. Build a close relationship with a host-country person who will be able to help you interpret confusing situations. • 7. Ask God for help in understanding and applying unfamiliar conflict resolution strategies. • 8. Scripture is the final judge of all cultural forms; prayer and discussion may be required before some cultural expressions are embraced.

  17. Applying Appropriate Strategies • Indirect conflict resolution methods (Elmer, pp. 65-134): • 1. Mediation • 2. Vulnerability – the “one-down” position • 3. Story-telling and proverbs • 4. Inaction, misdirection, silence, indefinite persons

  18. Applying Appropriate Strategies • **Breakout: [Case study exercise by groups.] • First discuss the assigned case study and plan the best strategy to resolve the team conflict. • How would a Matthew 18 response to such an offense and conflict look in a culture that functions by indirect rather than direct confrontation? • **Reporting: One person from each breakout group report to the plenary group your plan and any pertinent issues the group had to consider.

  19. Conclusion • Identify two primary “take-aways” from this session relating to the team leader and conflict resolution on a ministry team. • Share these insights with another member of your group, and decide one other person with whom you will share these thoughts. • What action step will you take in the coming six months to better prepare you as a team leader to appropriately and successfully manage and resolve actual or potential conflict on your team?