Response to Conflict - Lesson 3

Resolving Conflicts Biblically

In this lesson, you'll delve into the complexities of conflict resolution from a biblical perspective, gaining invaluable insights into managing and resolving conflicts effectively. As you explore the document, you'll learn about the various causes and types of conflicts, the significance of empathy and effective communication, and scriptural guidance for conflict resolution. Through this lesson, you'll develop a deeper understanding of how to navigate challenging situations and maintain strong relationships rooted in faith, even amidst disagreements and differences.
Chuck Coker
Response to Conflict
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Resolving Conflicts Biblically

Resolving Conflicts Biblically

I. Introduction to Conflict

A. Definition and Types of Conflict

B. Causes and Consequences of Conflict

II. Biblical Perspectives on Conflict

A. Old Testament Examples of Conflict

B. New Testament Examples of Conflict

C. Biblical Principles for Conflict Resolution

III. Responding to Conflict

A. Understanding Conflict Styles

B. Biblical Models of Conflict Resolution

C. Practical Strategies for Conflict Resolution

1. Communicating Effectively

2. Forgiveness and Reconciliation

3. Seeking Mediation

4. Setting Boundaries

IV. Conclusion

All Lessons
  • Dr. Chuck Coker invites you to his conflict response program, emphasizing conflict's role in personal growth and spiritual development, promising transformative change.
  • In responding to conflict, it is crucial to understand its origins and how it evolves as conflict is instrumental in a well-functioning team or ministry, but handling it can be daunting. Conflict usually starts with a misunderstanding that can cause anxiety to escalate, leading to a fight or flight instinct. Constructive conflict can be a powerful trust-building tool, but it is essential to identify conflict in its early stages to avoid it getting out of hand.
  • Conflict can be a team-building opportunity when well managed. To effectively manage conflict, recognize it as a communication breakdown that needs to be addressed, rather than avoided. Recognize that not all conflict can be resolved, but use it as a motivator for change. Building trust through strengthened relationships will enable you to manage conflict and achieve personal growth.
  • Gain conflict resolution insights from a biblical perspective, focusing on empathy, communication, and scriptural guidance to navigate disagreements and maintain strong faith-based relationships.
  • Gain knowledge about conflict types, causes, resolution strategies, and prevention methods to effectively handle conflicts in interpersonal, intrapersonal, and organizational settings.
  • Gain insight into conflict types, sources, and biblical resolution principles, while learning strategies like communication skills, problem-solving, reconciliation, and fostering a peaceful church culture.
  • Gain insight into biblical conflict resolution strategies, emphasizing active listening, empathy, and humility, and explore the vital roles of forgiveness and reconciliation in healing.
Dr. Chuck Coker invites you to his conflict response program, where he'll share his 35-year experience teaching conflict resolution and its importance in personal growth. Using the strategies adopted by major corporations across two continents, he'll guide you through understanding, resolving, and learning from conflicts. He aims to help participants develop into the individuals God intended them to be, all while drawing on scriptural examples. Joining this program promises transformative life changes and personal development.

[00:00:00] Well, now that we've looked a little bit at the approach to conflict and what the source of it is, let's begin to dig in to our responses to conflict, because this is going to be huge because when we respond to conflict, we're going to find out that everybody has a dominant approach, they have a fall back approach and maybe two, but they will describe the normal pattern for which we face and deal with conflict. So some response styles are more conducive to learning from conflict than others. But they all have their place. So as we begin to approach each of these response styles and those of the people that work with you, it's key to learning from conflict. Now, what I'm going to try to do as we go through this process, I'm going to acquaint you with the five particular styles. But I want you to begin to think about the fact that we all have these little mind maps. And these mind maps go from one side to the other where someone else's goes from that side to to someplace different. So first of all, let's lay a foundation for the five particular types of conflict. Then what we're going to do is we're going to try to integrate how our behaviors and mindsets actually impact the way we respond to conflict. And you will be able to go to the website and complete a conflict profile that will help you more deeply understand your conflict style. So let's dig in to those five conflict styles. And first of all introduce to you who's winning and who's losing with each conflict style, because behaviors and mindsets are going to have a huge impact on this. [00:02:38][158.2]

[00:02:39] So let's talk about style number one, which is what we call the assertive competitor with them. I'm going to win and you're going to lose. So therefore, it's going to be my way or the highway most often. Second is the avoiding appeaser. They're the opposite. I lose, you lose. We all lose. Thirdly, the compromising negotiator says, well, we both can win, but we've got to give a little bit and lose a little bit, too. So negotiation may not give you what you want, but it'll give you something of what you want. But you're going to have to give up a little something in the process. The cooperative accommodator is going to say I'll lose so that we as a team can win. And the scary thing about that is, is that often times these cooperative accommodators have knowledge that the team needs, but they're so willing to just let it pass over so that others can win, so that we can move on and not deal with conflict. And that's not healthy. Now the ideal is the collaborative partner where we both win. And let me tell you something. 80% of all conflict can be solved through collaboration. We have to have the right view of how to approach conflict. When we view conflict, we have to look at it from the perspective of both people involved. So let's take just a minute now to look at each one of the styles so that we understand what it's going to look like, taste like and smell like when we come in contact with it. So if you can see these things, you're going to know better how to react to it. [00:05:07][148.0]

[00:05:08] So let's start with that assertive competitor. They view conflict as an opportunity to achieve or win something. Now let's think out loud about where the behaviors in the mindsets come in with the assertive competitor what do you normally think about? You're going to think about that high dominance and maybe even the influencer, but they're going to have that utilitarian, individualistic and traditional mindset to go along with it. Why? Because dominance wants to control influence, wants to make sure that they're understood and they're being seen. The utilitarian says, let's get it done quickly. The individualistic says My way. Or the traditional is saying the structure and my beliefs tell me that this is the way and they're not going to give a lot of ground. So do they actually have strengths? Yes, they can be very good at driving change. They can help us succeed where other people have failed because they don't have that assertiveness about us. So what are the liabilities? They can actually achieve results that other people cannot obtain but it's often going to be at the expense of relationships. You remember. the last time that we talked about behaviors and mindsets. People with that high, individualistic, high, dominant normally migrate into roles of leadership. And what do we say about leaders? It's one of the loneliest places that you can be. Why? Because they have pushed and pushed to achieve the results. And sometimes people don't like that. Sometimes people don't feel that they are being heard. And that's the challenging part of working with an assertive competitor. [00:07:32][144.2]

[00:07:35] So let's go to the opposite end of the spectrum and then we'll catch the people in the middle. Let's talk about the avoiding appeaser. Their view of conflict is that it's another instance of forced concession. In other words, I'm not going to have anything to say about this, so I might as well just go along with the crowd. That's scary, too, because what happens? They have information, knowledge, experience and gifting in areas that may not actually come out. So where does that come from? It's probably from that high steady person that doesn't want to rock the boat or deal with the change that may be coming. Because you remember when we talked about the high S personality, we said that they don't like change. Another source of behaviors might be compliants, who are also going to be change averse. And their favorite saying, as we discussed, was, If it's not broken, don't fix it. Now when we move to the mindsets, the theoretical. Staying with old policies and procedures and the aesthetic who is somewhat idealistic in the way that they think and approach things, is also going to be somewhat fixed in the way that they view things. Next, the social, especially if they care very much about the people, what are they going to do? They're going to defer. And the traditional if it is in line with some of the values and beliefs that they have, are probably not going to say anything because they are going to follow the leader because, remember, they thrive on structure. Now, would you say that an avoiding appeaser actually has strengths? Of course, they're not going to intentionally initiate conflict. Why? Because the are high "S's." They're good listeners. They want to be able to hear the thing out. But they also carry some liabilities, and that is they have difficulty taking a hard line stance. In other words, they don't want to be the person that rocks the boat. [00:10:27][172.4]

[00:10:28] So moving on from that, avoiding appeaser or let's talk about the compromising negotiator. The compromising negotiator views conflict as an opportunity to be fair and reasonable. And they come from people that are high influencers. Remember, we said that they're not very confrontational people, as is the high compliance. Neither one of them are going to push back unless they are very serious about this. And again, the steady person is going to be. More of a listener than a communicator. You're also going to find some theoretical, utilitarian, more objective people who want to make sure that we get through this process. But they're willing to concede something because maybe there is aesthetic and social in there, because they are in a situation to where they feel like they have to bend. So there are strings to the compromising negotiator because their main focus is to preserve the relationship between people. So they want to get to a quick solution so that nobody's feathers ruffled. And while that is understandable, you may not always have to give up something, especially something that could be beneficial long term, but you do that to preserve the relationships. Now, the negotiator also has some liabilities, and that is they can be in a hurry to achieve closure just to get this done so that they can move on. And you'll find that very often with that high influencer because they want to keep moving their extroverted, their paces fast and they want to keep moving. [00:12:49][141.0]

[00:12:51] So we got two more. Let's look at that cooperative accommodator, somebody that views conflict with the fact that, well, it's just a little sacrifice, but we're all going to be better off long term because we're going to gain. This is also prominent with the high influence, the steadiness and the compliance mindset, because they're willing to sacrifice a little bit. Now, you'll notice in the last two, this one we see similar behavioral styles that lock that high dominant personality. So the people that are more people oriented or non-confrontational are also are going to want to either negotiate or accommodate through this process. [00:13:49][58.2]

[00:13:50] So we see that same mindset of the theoretical and utilitarian wanting to get things done. But now we see a belief system of individualistic and traditional that are thinking strategically or for the long term good. We don't see that subjective mindset here because they're not willing to sacrifice a lot unless they know that there's going to be a long term gain. So what about this accommodator? They have strengths. Absolutely. They can actually be comfortable with consequences and be very reasonable because there is going to be a long term gain for them and the team. However, they have some liabilities. Also those liabilities is that once they are figured out by other people, the other people will test their boundaries to see how much they can take in the process. So this accommodator is an individual that may not be quite as assertive as the negotiator. The negotiator is in a hurry. The accommodator is yes, they're in a reasonable move ahead mode. But they can also be held in a position to where, okay, I give up. It's time to move on. We're all going to move ahead with this. But remember that if this is a person, they are going to be stretched by the other people in the group. [00:15:54][124.6]


[00:15:56] Now. Our lifestyle. And I hope you get this, folks. I'm selling you on the idea of becoming a collaborative partner because 80% of conflict can be dealt with if we do this collaboratively. You see their view of conflict is that here's an opportunity for all of us to win. We all have something up here that we bring to the table and. As I mentioned earlier, if God is not a respecter of person because we all have something to offer, then we need to be able to bring things to the table and collaborate with each other. Where do we see this most often? That high dominant, high influence and the steadiness? Because the high dominant is going to want to move ahead, the high influence or is going to want to collaborate with other team people, as does the steadiness person. So you've got two of the three behavioral styles mentioned here that want things to work. And yes, the dominant wants it to work just so they can tick off the box and move on. But you're also going to see this in the mindsets where the aesthetic and the social. What do you mean the aesthetic and the social? They're subjective. Yes, they are. But the aesthetic is ready to be involved in whatever circumstances are going on. The social wants other people to achieve. But they would like to do that also. But the individualistic has that strategic mindset of thinking ahead and focusing on what is going to help build this thing so that everybody wins. And so we see the strengths here are very, very specific because when you have this much people orientation and willingness to deal with the situation based on the circumstances and a strategic mindset, you can build unity, you can build momentum, and you can move this process along. The challenge that we have with the collaborative partner, though, is that sometimes they can be seen a little unrealistic because there will be times when everybody cannot win. [00:18:55][179.0]

[00:18:57] So I want us to think about this from a graphic perspective so that you can see how conflict can actually work for you or against you. So when we think about conflict, there's two ways that we can respond to conflict. We can be very assertive or we can be responsive and just follow the direction. So when we are at the top of our assertiveness area, we're that aggressive competitor. When we are at the top of our responsiveness, we are more of a cooperative accommodator. But when we have very low assertiveness and we have very low responsiveness, guess what? We are going to end up being an appeaser. Now in the middle of that, when there some assertiveness and some responsiveness, what are we doing? We're pushing, but we're also willing to give. And that's where we find that compromising negotiator in the middle. But when we're thinking and we have good assertiveness and good responsiveness on the axis what do we have? We have that collaborative partner that's willing to get something done but respond to the needs of the people that are involved in that. And with this graphic, I encourage you to take the time and look at it so that you can see where both behaviors and mindsets fit into this process. And when you get your assessment back, you will see how your behaviors and your mindsets are actually focused on where you are going to respond, how you're going to respond, and the speed at which you are going to respond. So why do I tell you all that? It's important because that mind map that I told you about that is natural to each person can be very different. [00:21:42][165.3]

[00:21:43] And I'll give you an example. If, for example, you have someone that is a very high I S and also aesthetic and social, what's going to happen? Well, guess what? The first thing they're probably going to want to do is negotiate with you. But if that doesn't work, what might they do? They might just give up. So their mind map is, is that if I can't negotiate with you through the process then I'll just give up and let you do it. On the other hand, you may have a very high D C that is very objective, and their first response is as an assertive competitor. Let's get this task done and let's do it right and quickly. So that assertive competitor is going to come out. On the other hand, if they don't get it done, then, all right. I'll collaborate with you. Let's work this. And then if they don't get it done. All right, let's negotiate this process. But let's get it done and get it out of the way. So each person's got to have a mind map based on their behaviors and their mindsets. And we have to be cognizant of that because the behaviors and the mindsets are telling us how that mind map is formed. [00:23:36][113.1]

[00:23:38] So should I always be a collaborative partner since that's the objective? Not necessarily so. In a previous class we discussed the fact that there are times when you need to be an assertive competitor when the house is on fire. We just don't become an avoiding appeaser and say, Well, if we don't get out of the house fairly soon, it's going to burn us down. So we have to find win win situations. But win win situations aren't always possible. Next, we need to understand that we should learn to default to being the one that is appropriate for the situation, because win win situations occur more often than not. But if we don't take a collaborative approach, we might not see a win win solution when one actually exists. So the key is beginning conceptually with the fact that there may be a way for everyone to win, but it's simply not always possible. Being collaborative off the bat builds trust in other staff members and they will respect you for that. [00:25:17][99.4]

[00:25:19] But. Even if being a collaborative partner is not your dominant approach, you can still learn to be one. That's the important thing that we have to remember as we wrap up the session. I'd like for you to take just a minute. And stop the video and sit down together as a group with your people, try to identify your particular style. And if you've got your assessment results, that won't be too hard. But try to figure out what the other people in your group are so that you can then begin to see it in real life and apply it in real life. And then you'll understand how to interact with each other based on how you have applied the principles that we just learned. [00:26:19][60.5]

[00:26:20] What are some practical ways of being self aware of where you fit on this continuum? How does that help you listen better and trust each other more as you are going through these situations? . [00:26:39][18.5]

[00:26:40] Very good question, because not everybody's first skill set is collaborative partner. Here's what I think is critical that we understand about identifying your particular style and what to do with it. First of all, remember that each of you are gifted in a different area. And because you're gifted, you have experience, knowledge and information that needs to be shared and that needs to be placed in the process. So if you're not a collaborative partner, I think it behooves you to identify what are the natural strengths that you bring to the table. And when the opportunity comes for interaction, remember that it's on you to be able to speak up and communicate the fact that you have something to contribute rather than becoming an avoiding appeaser or co-operative accommodator and just kind of sitting there waiting until someone else responds. [00:27:58][78.1]

[00:27:59] Each of you have something to bring to the table, but the key is listening. The key is being involved enough so that you know yourself well enough and you know your group well enough to contribute when the opportunity arises. [00:28:18][19.1]

[00:28:21] The discussion we've had so far assumes that everyone's coming to the table wanting to promote the mission, the vision of the organization. What happens when you're in the middle of a conversation like this or a group meeting and you realize that there is a person or a group of people in the group that have motives or intentions that are not in line with the mission and vision of the church. How do you how do you respond and how do you deal with that kind of a situation? [00:29:03][41.8]

[00:29:04] Well, you know, I think the assumption that everybody wants to solve this in a collaborative way is something that we almost have to get away from because each person has their own agenda. We see that in the church body very often, while the majority of the people want to follow Christ, while the majority of the people want to accomplish things. Each person, especially those who see themselves as leaders, is going to have an agenda of their own. And so when we go into this and we key in listening, like we mentioned just in the last question that we addressed, I want you to be thinking about the fact of how can we bring in or how can we deal with these differences in a way that collaborates. And there may not be a possibility to do that because, as we said, collaboration only works about 80% of the time. So we know that there is a 20% chance going into any meeting that there's going to be conflict that cannot be dealt with collaboratively. So what we have to do is as we listen to the person explaining or fighting about or storming through this process, how can we bring something to bear that would smooth the process through or bring us to a point that is closer to their objective but not acquiescing to their objective? [00:29:04][0.0]