In a recent conversation with my father, I asked him to tell me more about a service club he and mum have joined. They love it. There is a joint sense of community and contribution, activity and purpose. It was fascinating hearing him regale me of the number of members and the amount of activities that they get up to. For them, the new people and new experiences really matter to them. I loved that they are loving it.
As Dad got more specific he told me about one of the more successful groups that was growing and gaining momentum. It was doing so well until (in Dad’s words) someone offended her so she said ‘Stuff it, I’m not going to do that anymore” and she didn’t. A positive, community building, relationship strengthening activity all over because one person offended another.
Ancient script says an offended heart is more unyielding than a fortified city. Meaning a locked up heart stays that way, no one comes in and no one comes out.
This is the one thing you must do every time to resolve conflict well.
Listen with the intent of clarifying the REAL issue to be resolved.
- Not judge.
- Not buy the story (it’s real to them).
- Not patronise.
- Not prove your point.
- Not need to win.
- Not get big and bold and bullish.
- Not claim your rights.
- Not be self-righteous.
But listen so the person you are speaking with is able to be clear about the real issue that needs to be resolved.
Just listen. Really listen. With your ears and your eyes and your heart.
Conflict is a guarantee. Relational tension is going to happen in ANY people group you are part of. Conflict is a fact of life in love, business, church, sporting clubs, schools, workplaces and community service groups. That’s not the issue. Knowing what to do when it happen is the real issue.
What would be even more beautiful is that those groups would be populated with people who have the skill and the commitment to resolving conflict in a way that builds the relationship and makes positive progress.
Listen with the intent to clarify the REAL issue to be resolved. That’s it. Start there. It’s a game changer.
#onestepleadership | A Big Vision To Make Leadership Smaller
PS: Next week I will give you a “colour by numbers” for resolving conflict. Follow it and you will greatly increase yours and your team’s ability to solve the real and important issues at hand.