How do you manage conflict?
Solomon realized that we were guaranteed conflict (two objects attempting to occupy the same space at the same time), so he left us nearly 1,000 wise sayings for conflict management.
Psychologists describe a grid of five conflict management styles, each determined by our perspective of another person’s interest versus that of our own: (1) Compromise (moderate towards another’s interest/moderate toward our interest); (2) Compete (low toward another’s interest/high toward our interest); (3) Accommodate (high toward another’s interest/low toward our interest); (4) Avoid (low toward another’s interest/low toward our interest); (5) Collaborate (high toward another’s interest/high toward our interest).
The challenge is discerning when to apply each conflict management style. Fortunately, Proverbs offers insight to this question: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Wisdom in conflict management styles begins with trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide us toward God’s interest. He makes our paths straight, or smooth.
This week, practice the Five-Second Rule. When two objects attempt to occupy the same space at the same time, take five seconds to ask God, “What do you want me to do?” He will smooth your paths with wisdom to manage your conflict.