When you have a problem with a coworker how do you handle it? Do you ignore it, or fight back? While you can’t avoid it, how you deal with it before it happens matters.
You can’t always predict conflict but there are behaviors and circumstances that cultivate it. To prevent big blow ups and ugly tension forming it’s important to:
EMBRACE THE SMALL CONFLICT
The best analogy I’ve heard on this is that it takes a series of small explosions in the engine of a car to move it forward. One big explosion and you can expect disaster.
The same is true for a healthy organization. Conflict is healthy in small spurts. Deal with it early, and work through it.
When you embrace small conflict not only will relationships strengthen but new ideas can emerge. If you let it fester it will grow out of control.
BUILD AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS
The best way to avoid and resolve conflict is through trust. To build trust amongst coworkers means:
- Constant communication
- Investing in one another personally
- Seeing the other person as a child of God
Not only do you want trust but you want to be able to enjoy the people you work with. Take the time to get to know them by:
- Eating lunch with them regularly
- Doing something outside the office
- Introducing your family to them
When you know your coworkers are behind you it becomes easier to tackle on the challenges ministry brings.
Gossip creeps in when communication lacks and people are afraid to deal with conflict. Best way to prevent gossip is to have zero tolerance.
Don’t be afraid to call people out when they gossip. Encourage coworkers to deal with those they have issue with. Discuss it as a staff so that you take care of it before it ever becomes a real problem.
PRAY TOGETHER CONSISTENTLY
The team that prays together stays together. That means praying before meetings, at meals and even having a weekly prayer gathering.
As a staff pray for one another personally and what you are facing as a staff together. Lift up volunteers, programs and watch God grow your hearts.
Creating a healthy environment takes work. It won’t always come easily but the benefits include enjoying your job and the people you work with.
When you have a team you love seeing each day it’ll mean bringing less stress home. On top of that you’ll never feel alone in your mission to reach the next generation.