Response to Conflict - Lesson 5

Reconciliation and Forgiveness

In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of conflict and its various types, sources, and effects. By examining the biblical framework for conflict resolution, you will learn Old and New Testament principles to guide your approach to conflict. The lesson further delves into strategies for conflict resolution, including communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and the importance of reconciliation and forgiveness. Lastly, you will explore how to implement conflict resolution in a church setting by examining leadership roles, developing a conflict resolution plan, and cultivating a culture of peace.
Chuck Coker
Response to Conflict
Lesson 5
Watching Now
Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Reconciliation and Forgiveness

I. Learning from Conflict

A. Importance of Listening and Seeing Different Angles

B. Win-Win Scenarios

C. Being a Collaborative Partner

II. Healthy Attitudes and Responses to Conflict

A. Focusing on Issues, Not Personal Feelings

B. Asking Great Questions

C. Creating Unity through Clarity

III. Approaching Conflict Constructively

A. Using Constructive Questions

B. Avoiding Unhelpful Words or Phrases

IV. Situational Responses to Conflict

A. Avoiding Appeaser

B. Cooperative Accommodator

C. Assertive Competitor

D. Compromising Negotiator

E. Collaborative Partner

  • 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.
  • Through this lesson, you gain in-depth knowledge of five key conflict response styles, comprehending their motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, and how to navigate conflicts effectively using this understanding.
  • 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.

Dr. Chuck Coker
Response to Conflict
Reconciliation and Forgiveness
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, welcome back to our response to a conflict. So now that we have learned how to diffuse conflict, let's actually dig in just a little bit deeper and then identify how we can actually learn from conflict because. When we're under fire for conflict, it's time to see what you can actually absorb from the conflict that you've just experienced and respond constructively. Remember from earlier, listening and seeing different angles of conflict is very crucial. Next. Most conflict can be resolved with a win win situation, but not all of it. Approaching conflict as a collaborative partner will help you identify as many win win scenarios as possible. So we have to focus. We have to make sure that we are actually learning from conflict and producing those win win scenarios the way that it is possible. The way that we produce those win win scenarios is by being a collaborative partner. That's what's the most important part that we have to remember. So how do we actually become a collaborative partner? Well, the first thing is to start off with a healthy attitude towards conflict. Remember our famous saying? Conflict is good. It helps us see that something's wrong. So keep that attitude in mind because it involves focusing on issues rather than personal feelings. Now, I want you to understand something. I say that because this is a universal concept. It can apply to marriage. It can apply to friendships and relationships. It can apply to work, environment, ministry, environment, or wherever you go. Focus on issues rather than your personal feelings. Because we're not trying to position ourselves. We're trying to get to the core issue because the emphasis in going through conflict is learning what you can take away from the situation. Kind of like sanctification.

[00:02:50] Yes, we're forgiven for our sins. Why? Because sometimes we learn more from making mistakes than we do from doing it right. So the important thing that we have to look for and that we have to dig into is what are the healthy responses versus the unhealthy responses that we can gain from conflict? First, as I said, and I'm going to repeat it again, focus on the issues, not the person or the personality. Take the information. And because it's going to drive personal and professional growth, rather than putting an emphasis on who's superior and who's the subordinate. A good, healthy response is to ask great questions from our previous lessons. We learned that. A statement can only be agreed with or disagreed with. But a question helps us get to that core issue. We shouldn't be making demands. That's an unhealthy response. We should be honestly wrestling with different opinions because one person's not always right and the other person's not always wrong. We have to create unity through clarity. Clarity trumps persuasion. And think about the fact that if there's not clarity, there's going to be division and probably isolation from one person to the next. So we have to acknowledge our own responsibility rather than shifting blame. We have to see the issue behind the issue rather than being short sighted or focusing purely on our purpose through the process. You see, apologies sometimes are necessary. Rather than just refusing to empathize with another person, we have to look towards finding a solution rather than obstructing a dialog between people. We have to actually synthesize. The constructive approach rather than stagnate in the problem itself. So. What are some of the words that you would use to approach a new conflict constructively? Tell me why you feel that way.

[00:06:15] Tell me how this is impacting you. If you were in charge, how would you handle that constructively? So when you ask these kind of questions, you are going to be positioning yourself to deal with the core issue rather than have elongated conflict. Another question you might think about is what words or phrases would you avoid to keep from responding and constructively? You're wrong. No, that's not the way we do it, or we've done it that way for a long time and we're not going to change. The key is coming back with ideas and concepts through questions. Questions especially like if you were in this situation, how would you handle it? Because then you are probably going to get to the core issue rather than the issue that's on the surface. Because here's what I can tell you. 67% of the directions that are given to a person cannot be completed properly without further clarity. So ask those questions, bring the person in and find a way that you can be more of a collaborative partner because usually that's your best choice. But not always. Why not always? Because win win solutions aren't always possible. Perhaps compromising as necessary may be one side does have to lose. These situations are the exception rather than the norm. But in these cases, you may find that another approach is much more appropriate. And let's go through some examples, because you can actually choose the way you respond. Situationally. Let's say, for example. You're in a situation to where it doesn't really matter. Things are going to happen the way they are. So you need to take that role as an avoiding appeaser. In this situation. Others can resolve the conflict much more efficiently than you been involved. Second, you can be an avoiding appeaser when both parties see the issue as minor.

[00:09:17] In other words, choose your battles. Some things aren't really that important. Or you can be an avoiding appeaser when the negative impact of the situation itself may be too damaging or costly for both people involved. And lastly. Additional time may be required. So. The important thing for you to think about is, is this a battle that you want to be involved with? And sometimes it's not worth it. So those times choose to be the avoiding appeaser. Let me give you an example from rural life. Often times people call on me to do some counseling. And one of the things that. I am called on often times to do is deal with a person who is pretty much already made up their mind about something. And I'll give you an example. A wife that can forgive her husband for something that he has done in those cases. My response would be this. If God forgives us, then we have to forgive other people. And until you're willing to forgive and move on, I can't help you. So what I'd like for you to think about is to take some time. And if you find that you cannot forgive your husband, then I think I'm probably not the best person to be involved in this situation. So I'm going to avoid giving you advice right now. Now let's move on to a co-operative. Accommodate or where you win and I lose. So when is that actually important? Well, it's more important to preserve the relationship than argue the issue. We know this for marriage, don't we? There are times when we want to maintain that relationship, and this can come about from things as simple as well. I was raised this way and you were raised that way.

[00:12:00] And my way is better. No, no, no. That's not the best way to approach things unless it is a very significant issue. Secondly, the issue is more important to the other person than it is to you. Thirdly, you want to indicate a degree of reasonableness with the other person. Fourth, you want to encourage other people to express their own point of view. And last, you want others to learn by their own choices and actions. This is one of those situations in raising children that is more than just a real life example. It happens to us all the time. Do you know what your curfew is? And let me tell you why your curfew is 11:00. Because if you read all of the statistics about people that are out driving after 11:00, you'll know that over 75% of the people that are on the roads after 11:00 are impaired in some way, either sleep, alcohol, drugs, whatever. But. You're over 18 years old and you have to make your own decisions. So I'm going to let you make that decision. But I want you to think about the consequences of being in a situation that can actually be dangerous. Now. Our next title is The Assertive Competitor. I win, you lose. So when is it appropriate to migrate to that assertive competitor in emergencies when quick, decisive action is needed? In situations where unpopular changes need to be implemented or when other methods have tried and failed. And let me give you an example. For that. Unpopular changes that need to be implemented in an organization may be such as your ministry. We have not been on streaming or television up until this time. We are going to move to that because many churches have during the pandemic.

[00:14:57] And what we found is that our church attendance has dropped off and it's not building back up. Yet we know that we are doing what God has called us to do because a lot of people have gotten used to staying at home. And if they have, we need to reach those people that are home. So while it may not be a popular decision, I think we need to start streaming our services so that people can be drawn back to fellowship with our ministry. We have another situational type conflict that we can focus on, and that is the compromise in negotiator, where we both win and we both lose. So in order to do that, what we will need to do is reach an agreement when both sides have equal power. We have to find a common ground when both parties have competing goals. We need to achieve a temporary settlement in complex matters. Next, we have to reach a solution under difficult circumstances or time pressures. Lastly, we want to maintain personal objectives while we are preserving the relationship. So. When you have. What is been very common. In today's society, you have churches that are actually closing. You have churches that have shrunk. And church mergers today are very much on the rise. So. In bringing together two churches. What those two churches can find, especially if they're located in a similar vicinity, is that if we sell one property, we have the funding to build the new church body and it the attendance back through social media, through advertising, through many different mediums. So now we have an opportunity for both sides that have equal power. To find the common ground and come together, even though a year ago they were, quote unquote, competing at that particular time.

[00:17:54] Collaborative partners is where we want to go. We've been talking about that all through the process. But a collaborative partner works hard at achieving the goal and maintaining the relationship because they're both really important to learn about multiple sides of an issue. When both sides of a dispute are likely to have a valid point. Next, we can brainstorm creative solutions that incorporate multiple objectives. And lastly, when addressing an issue that has been unresolved for some time and has led to pent up frustration. So an example of that would be that, yes, we need to have more than one thing going on at one time. And yes, they may have seemed competing at one time, but let's split our resources and reach both the youth ministry and the middle school ministry because both of them are important and they're not competing because we're both working towards the cause of Christ. So to be able to do that. We will share our resources so that the youth and high school have an equal opportunity to be reached along with the middle school team. So. Each response style has its place. There are going to be times, as we said, that we cannot always default to being a collaborative partner. You just have to notice very quickly that another response style is needed and then default to that response style at the appropriate time. We have to be paying attention to what the situation and circumstances are. Now, I want you to take just a moment. Turn off the video and think about a situation in your ministry where each one of these styles may have been appropriate for you to execute on. Yes, collaborative partners is where we want to go, but as we've said many times, we have to learn through this process.

[00:20:42] So therefore, let's start learning what kind of situations and circumstances would best be used for each one of these different types of situations.