"Managing Instead of Avoiding Confrontation" – Influence Magazine

Managing Instead of Avoiding Confrontation

by Chris Railey

Ifyou want to learn a skill, like playing the piano or shooting a basketball, you can’t avoid practice. If you want to get in shape, you can’t avoid workouts. If you want to grow in your relationship with Christ, you can’t avoid prayer. Those are the essentials.

In the same way, if you want to lead with influence, you can’t avoid confrontation. I don’t mean you need to invite it, but you can’t close your eyes to it either. Managing confrontation is an essential of leadership.

Why is that? For one, confrontation is inevitable. Whenever you’re dealing with imperfect people, you will have conflict. In fact, any time you get people together with different skills, personalities and backgrounds, those differences will eventually lead to conflict. You can either confront those conflicts and improve your leadership or ignore them and lose your influence.

Many leaders try to avoid conflict as a way to “keep the peace.” That’s not a good idea. Trying to make everyone happy will leave you with a half-fulfilled vision. But confronting difficult and uncomfortable issues when they arise will strengthen your team and improve your ability to lead.

As a pastor, you will have conflict with your staff, your board, members of your church, and people in your community. When that happens, you need to lean in to the confrontation in a way that honors God and improves your relationships...