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| Author: Dele Oke

Dealing with conflicts

Five levels of conflict

How to identify and solve them

1. A problem to solve.
You realise it has nothing to do with each other.
It has to do with ?how to? of solving a problem
Philippians 2: 1-2, Ephesians 4:26

2. A clear disagreement.
You are more concerned about ?getting your way? than solving the problem.
The views of the other person are not understood. It becomes personal.
Philippians2: 3 - 4
Solutions: Admit you are off tract. Face the problem not each other.

3. A contest.
A clear disagreement has now graduated into ?established positions?.
Each party holds firmly to their views.
Information is no longer exchanged and opposing views are no longer being considered.
James 3: 13-14
Solutions: Each side has to repent of wrong attitude and sin. Return to level one.

4. Fight or flee.
A contest enters ?the need to win? stage.
Both sides threaten to ?carry out their own ideas? - leaving or going along independently. No regard is given to the implications. The ?against me? attitude is established.
James 3: 14- 15
Solutions: Consider the implications of your action. Outside help is urgently needed and should be sought.

5. Time to claim victory.
Fight to the finish rather than give up mentality is established. All feelings for the other party are buried beneath personal ambitions for victory that has now become the main focus.
Solutions: An immediate ?cease fire? is required. This could involve a time of separation for reflection. Outside help is urgently required. It takes time to resolve these kinds of conflicts. Never let things get this far.

Remember: conflict never solves itself.

Conflict resolution

1. Attitudes at the heart of conflict
- Focusing on what the other person has done wrong - Luke 12: 13-15
- Unmet desires becomes reasons to ? take it out? on the other person - James 4: 1-3

Watch out for these four?
- I desire
- I demand
- I judge
- I punish

2. Avoiding conflict

1. Share your dreams and expectations at an early stage. - Amos 3:3
2. Be content with what you have - 1 Timothy 6:6
3. Deal with the log in your own eye first - Matthew 7: 3 - 5
4. Walk in love - Romans 12: 2
5. Never cease to hope - 1 Corinthians 13:13

3. Resolving conflict

1. Treat the person with respect
2. Confront the problem not the person
3. Define the conflict
4. Communicate understanding.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
5. Explore alternative solutions
6. Agree on a workable solution
7. Re-evaluate after some time

Adapted with material from Ohio State University
Resources for resolving conflict