Having difficult conversations and resolving conflicts is essential to good leadership – and even to healthy, growing human relationships and communities. So why do we often do so poorly at this?
- One Community Group member states how upset they are that someone in a public space wasn’t wearing a mask and how thoughtless and dangerous this is for their loved ones – then another member responds that if people just trusted God rather that the so-called medical experts and fake-news worry-mongers, we’d all be safe and working right now….
- Someone says “black lives matter” and another fires back: “Let’s not be racist – All lives matter!”….
- One or more of your group members passionately posits, “We must pray that we re-elect God’s man Donald Trump, so we stop those godless liberals from destroying our country and killing more unborn!” to which others almost in tears, push back: “God’s man or woman would speak and act in ways that defend women, vulnerable children and immigrants, and welcome all nations and ethnicities without race-baiting, as the Bible commands, not do the opposite; Biden and Harris will obviously do that better!”
What you do next may mean the difference between the strengthening of your group and its disintegration – and perhaps more importantly, between the deepening spiritual formation and integration of members’ faith and their hardening into unhealthy and unholy attitudes and approaches toward other people beloved by God and created in God’s image, who happen to disagree with them.
In this workshop we will NOT try to answer and fix each of the above tensions or answer which is correct. Rather, we will learn and practice some informal patterns for having productive difficult conversations and also offer a template for a more formal conflict resolution conversation.