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Had the chance to hang out with Jim Wideman and Kenny Conley as they led a session at the Orange Conference on conflict resolution. One guarantee in leadership is you will face seasons of conflict. How you lead through it determines how conflict will shape the health and direction of your team. Wishing it will go away will not work. Conflict is essential to growth and development of your organization so you have to lead through it.

Here are some great tips Jim and Kenny shared as you manage conflict…

Before a Conflict Conversation
Don’t put it off to long and miss an opportunity to confront in a healthy way.
All serious incidents need a paper trail
Seek wisdom
Line up action to the philosophy of your church
Play out meetings in your head. Practice!
When and where is as important as what is said!

During the Conversation
Look at them
Listen to them
Be honest and to the point
Stick to your guns
Let punishment fit the “crime”
Reaffirm your love for them
End with thanks and affirmation
Let them know what needs to change and have a plan

After the Conversation
Put a support structure around them
Follow up with a note or call
Notice efforts to change
Treat that person with respect and don’t avoid them.