S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Leaders in Conflict

Leadership is a wonderful calling! You experience the euphoria of success and the aching realities of failure hinged on every decision you make. As a leader, you know where you’re going. Your vision and passion to get there are matched only by your willingness to take other people along. And that’s where servant leadership begins; that place of inviting others into your intellectual, emotional, and social space. Once there, the potential for conflict exponentially increases to levels you hadn’t expected nor planned.

So what is a servant leader to do? Servant Leadership is intrinsically others focused. Therefore, be a S-E-R-V-A-N-T in the face of conflict. Following are the Seven Key Strategies that provide framework and twenty Key Initiatives for reclaiming peace in the midst of conflict:

Start at the core, not the chaos

1. Understand the problem is rarely the other person and it is rarely the issue of first importance
2. Identify the chaos as physically seen, emotionally felt, and it skews our focus
3. Know that chaos stems from the core and the core is rooted in personal opinion, goals, and desires
4. Define Conflict: A difference in opinion or purpose that frustrates someone’s goals or desires*
5. Take responsibility for the progression of personal contribution: Desire, Demand, Judge, Punish*
6. Define and clarify along the way

Engage appropriately

7. Understanding Care-frontation NOT Confrontation – Relationship supersedes circumstances
8. Staying on top of the Slippery Slope of conflict – Escape Responses, Peace Responses, Attack Responses*
9. Commit to a process:*
– Ground rules – Mutually agreed upon list of expectations during the care-frontation
– Opening statements – “What do you hope to see come of our time together?”
– Perspective gathering – listen, engage honestly to seek understanding
– Distinguish Issues from Interests – issues are the substance of the conflict, interests are the “why” behind the conflict
– Solution Focus – mutual response of potential solutions
– Mutual Agreement

Reaffirm the goal
10. Link the purpose of care-fronting to the corporate mission
11. Keep the needed resolution connected to the larger good of the organization

Value the person, vent the issues
12. Separate the person from the behaviors
13. Find character traits that affirm the persons worth
14. Speak to issues matter of fact with tact and respect
15. Ask questions to help the individual come to appropriate conclusions regarding issues

Acknowledge the hurt, the fears, the hope
16. Distinguish the truth that distance between expectations and reality is disappointment
17. Discuss disappointments which breeds hurt that must be addressed relationally, fears that require definition to unknown variables, and opportunities to infuse hope

Note agreements
18. Create a written document that provides appropriate accountability. Bullet point steps moving forward while capturing points to celebrate
19. Formulate a plan of action directly linked to the solution; measurable yet simple

Take next steps
20. Follow through needs to be planned. It doesn’t just happen. Calendar an intentional gathering two weeks post care-frontation
– “Thank you for…”
– “I’m looking forward to us…”
– “How may I come alongside if needed?”
– Review agreements and accountability
– “How are you?”
– “How are we?”

*Concept from Peacemaker Ministries, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *