(Final post of 7 in series)
Here you are at the end of serving others by leading through conflict. Now it’s time for you to take.
Take is a verb for leaders having walked with others through a conflict. Leaders take next steps to follow up once the process has finished. This was historically the most difficult part of the entire conflict coaching process for me personally. It’s not that I didn’t want to follow up, it’s that I didn’t want to stir up what had been resolved and I thought it best to leave good enough alone. How tragic! I missed so many more opportunities to minister to people by not following up with them.
I’ve grown to understand the value of a well timed, appropriate point of emotional connection. The spiritual encouragement that comes from following up is a balm the Lord uses in the healing process. Here are a few suggestions in establishing best practices as you follow up:
1. Schedule a visit two weeks after the final meeting. Let them know you’d like to meet with them individually. During these one on one conversations, focus on these three statements:
“Thank you for…” This is your opportunity to tell them what you saw in their character during the conflict. Highlight how you saw them allow the Holy Spirit to influence them.
“I’m looking forward to…” Share your vision of God’s best continuing to work in their lives. Using Scripture to lay a foundation of hope.
“How may I come alongside if needed?” Many people need more help to get through the emotional obstacle course of re-engaging a relationship once severe conflict has torn at the fabric of trust. Provide resources as needed.
2. Schedule a meeting with all involved three months after the final meeting. This follow up is to cover the following:
– Review agreements and accountability. Remind them of the action steps they agreed to as noted in the process. How are they doing? Where do they need to be pushed toward action? Where can you affirm them?
“How are you?” Allow each to share how they are really doing emotionally and spiritually as they piece together the newly forged relationship.
“How are we?” This question can be a bit scary for us as leaders. It opens the door for them to vent about any aspect of our leadership that may have been painful for them during the process. It’s a great opportunity for us to model for them how to respond with grace and compassion.
– Finally, remind them of how God was faithful. I like to call this the Joshua 4 exercise. Have them read that passage of Scripture and note what God asked and why He asked it of them. End on an encouraging high note!
Now, go and lead well through conflict as a S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Leader!