Oh, how we like to avoid this topic. Especially in churches and faith-based organizations where we would like to believe conflict doesn’t happen. However, people are people everywhere. Feelings get hurt. People say things they don’t mean. Expectations are left unmet. Miscommunication creates confusion. In all these situations conflict happens – either under the surface or overt.
It’s not always easy to figure out the best way to address it. Most conflict situations have layers to address and it can get complicated to unravel the messes we create. Let’s not forget there is lots of work to be done every single day. It’s easy to side step conflict to get things done. If you don’t address it – what does it cost you as a leader?
1. It will cost you time. You will spend time dealing with the people issues instead of mission critical tasks. Your people may withdraw or complain – all of which affects productivity.
2. It will cost you people. Most people’s conflict tolerance is low. They won’t stay long in a conflict environment and people will move on and you will be looking for their replacement.
3. It will cost you presence. Conflict that lives under the surface impacts stress levels which impacts the health of you and your people. That means an increase in sick days, higher health care costs, or people just not operating at their best.
4. It will cost you process. Conflict between people impacts effectiveness. People lose energy, pull back, stop sharing freely – all of which hinders your ability to walk through your processes efficiently. Your process may start going in circles not finding the solutions you need.
As a leader responsible for the mission of the organization and your team, you will need to equip yourself to tackle conflict. It won’t be easy, and you won’t do it perfect – so, add tools to your toolbox and start equipping your team through their conflict. You can find a few in my Ultimate Leader Guide HERE.