One of the worst practices one can have is checking voice mail and email first thing in the morning. For all you know there may be a ticking time bomb of conflict waiting for you. Most of us hate conflict, even those of us who say we love it know it really exhausts and drains us. And the reason it does is because we don’t know how to handle it. So next time you find yourself facing it:
Lean In – Again, our tendency is to hide from conflict, but we need to do the opposite run to it. I’m not saying go pick a fight, but the more you ignore an issue the more it will escalate. When we can embrace the situation we can go into it with confidence.
Prepare – Most times conflict hits us by surprise or at least that’s what it feels like. So how do you prepare for something that can arise unexpected?
- Seek God For Guidance – Ask God for His words, His love and His patience, cause you’ll need them.
- Name Your Triggers – Is there some phrase or action that’ll set you off? If you can identify it before hand you’ll be know how to handle it when it appears. This will prevent lashing out and picking an unnecessary fight.
- Set Your Pace – Be slow to talk and quick to listen. When people start stepping on each others words you both lose. Ask questions, know you don’t always have to have an answer. If the conflict gets heated again you will both lose.
- Progress Is Important – Know that the situation has to move forward even if you can’t make a resolution. Sometimes we are quick to solve the problem, before we are ready to dig deeper. It’s okay to say, “Listen maybe we can continue this at another time.” Taking a step back helps.
Decompress – After you engage in conflict you will have adrenaline pumping through your blood. Take a walk, a run, listen to music, and give your emotions over to God. The worst thing is to give any negative emotions over to coworkers, family or friends.
Conflict isn’t easy nor is it fun but it can lead to growth if handled in the right away. The growth might not be apparent because it might not be happening in you but someone else. If you walk away from this post knowing one thing, it’s bringing God into the situation. He’ll give you His wisdom, patience and fortitude to take on the tension. Again I’m not saying pick a fight, but don’t be afraid to go in and embrace the situation. After all God has a plan.
How do you handle conflict?