[Introduction] 12 Steps To Resolving Conflicts
Do you have anyone in your life who absolutely drives you nuts?
I mean they just drive you crazy? Perhaps you’re constantly struggling in the relationship. It could be a spouse, could be a child, it could be a parent, a co-worker, a friend. They just drive you nuts, and you’re constantly in conflict that you can’t resolve.
I want to talk to you about how to deal with conflict and introduce you to the 12 Steps to Resolving Conflicts. This is basically a process of dealing with conflict that I have found works well all over the world.
I want to begin by asking you two key questions:
1. When conflict happened in your family growing up how did your family deal with it? Did people run away from it, did they get aggressive or assertive? Did they bury it? Did they react to it?
2. How has your family experience affected the way you deal with conflict today in your personal and in your professional life? So often we either become a product of the way conflict was handled in our life growing up, because that’s how we learned it, or we react and go to another extreme. So if people were aggressive and offensive and even abusive in your family you may have reflected that aggression, or gone the other way and become passive, hidden any conflicts, or held them down.
The other thing I want you to think about as we begin this journey is the fact that conflicts are reality.
Picture some conflict that you have right now and think about it.
• What is the impact of that conflict?
• How do you react to that conflict?
• What do you think you do well?
• What don’t you do well?
As we go through this series I’m going to coach you how to deal with conflict, and I’m going to give you 12 steps on how to resolve it.
So begin to think about this, realizing that conflict is part of life. But if you are constantly struggling with people remember this as well, that whenever you have unresolved conflict, it leads to isolation. It’s like bricks in a wall. Each unresolved conflict is a brick, and each brick builds upon another until ultimately there’s this huge wall between you, and you end up isolated from your family, friends, and coworkers.
And you know what? There’s only one way to tear that wall down, one brick at a time. So I want to give you 12 steps you can use to resolve conflicts in the days to come.
Now for those of you who are faith-based people I want you to know that much of the wisdom I present here is built on key scriptures—Matthew 5:23-24, Galatians 6:1-2, Matthew 18:15-17.
These are the best passages I’ve discovered in all the literature. They deal with three types of conflict:
1. Matthew 5:23-24 – the conflict where I realize that I’ve offended someone and I need to take the initiative as the offender to resolve it.
2. Galatians 6:1-2 – this is where I see others who are having problems, and though I’m not the instigator of it but rather an onlooker I should restore that person and help them resolve their issues in a spirit of gentleness.
3. Matthew 18:15-17 – here it says if someone has offended you, then you take the steps that are spelled out in this passage to resolve the conflict. In this case you feel like you’re the offendee.
So, you see that these principles of conflict resolution are reflective of, and apply to, whether you’re the offender, the offended, or even an onlooker. We’re going to learn about these different roles here in the days to come. Stay tuned.
Now, write down the answer to the questions I posed above and, especially, identify one of your conflicts and how you are handling this now. Let this become the person you keep in your mind as we work our way through these 12 steps.
And, please share your comments, questions and insights below. Finally, if this is helpful for you, please pass it on to your friends and family via email or social media.
I’m looking forward to our journey together as you become a pro at resolving conflicts and maintaining harmonious and close relationships.