team-conflictRecently I had the opportunity to lead a breakout session at Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Conference 2012 titled "The Non-Confrontationalist’s Guide to Confrontation."

There are three reasons why you want to lean into conflict, the first two of which I already have spoken:

Now, I will address reason No. 3.

The Impact of Humility

Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

Humility is one of the greatest attributes of a leader. And the right response to conflict has a way of accentuating our humility (or lack thereof).

There are two essentials to humility: honesty and empathy.

Leaders have to be willing to identify with the frustration of a team member (empathy) and sincerely speak to the challenges a frustration causes (honesty) before they can help the team member see the value of moving toward a solution.

As a leader, I can help someone move beyond conflict toward a solution simply by identifying with what they are feeling.

How many times do people simply want to be heard?

Humility is stopping long enough to listen before offering a solution. Humility is the ability to simply say, “I’m really sorry. I know that’s frustrating.”

The moments when I leap from problem to solution, I don’t get very far unless I get the other person to leap with me. I get them to leap with me when I pause, listen and identify. Nine times out of 10, when someone feels they’ve been heard, they’re more willing to drop their offense and embrace a solution.

Next, I will finish this series with "4 Steps to Success for Conflict Resolution."

Gina McClain is a speaker, writer and children’s ministry director at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. For the original article, visit ginamcclain.com.

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