Managing Conflict -- Listen

In Managing Conflict, the LISTEN involves deeply committing, and hearing the other parties deeply commit, to owning each one's own fault, to clarifying each one's own bottom line, and to working toward a win-win, a solution satisfying to all parties.

If one party doesn't honestly commit, or if another party doubts the commitment of anyone involved, then it's not an open conflict. Something else is needed--more listening, forgiveness, letting go of resentments, or stopping conflict management.

In Managing Conflict, the LISTEN requires evaluation, listening to the answers to these questions: Do we need a consultant? What is the time frame for our work on this conflict? What procedures do we wish to install? Are we listening to all affected?

If even one party to the conflict wants an outside consultant, it is best to honor that person's wishes. In setting the time frame for conflict, consider the time needed for hunting up and listening to the quiet people who will be affected by the outcome.

Procedures for the actual work on the conflict might include break schedule, chairperson, how to pass the baton for taking turns speaking, what kind of notes will be kept by whom, role of consultant if any, and how the outcome will be announced.

In Managing Conflict, the LISTEN calls on all parties to work together to define the topic of conflict and then notice and disallow divergence from that topic at this time. Also to be disallowed are any name calling, blaming, throwing, or hitting. 

In Managing Conflict, the LISTEN also requires quiet time to sit with the possible decisions, develop all their best scenarios, and see, feel, and evaluate the results beforehand. Once an outcome is chosen, more quiet time is required for settling in.

In Managing Conflict in a church setting, the LISTEN would also include prayer, shaping the topic as a question to God, listing aloud any related biblical principles, and allowing time for all parties if possible to come to detachment from outcomes.

Copyright 2014 Wilma Zalabak