Handling Conflict With Your Boss With Grace
Handling conflict with a boss is best-done head-on to minimize the impact and find a constructive solution, but this is easier said than done. Staying silent can seem more appealing than risking your job role and relationship with your church leader.
Maintain integrity while navigating conflict situations by mirroring Jesus and following God’s guidance with these four principles.
How to Resolve Conflict at Work Tip #1: Speak Truth
Clear, direct, and honest communication is everything when it comes to church conflict resolution. Don’t rush to complain about every little thing that happens but try to think thoroughly about why this situation is difficult for you when a problem becomes apparent.
The Harvard Review outlines the importance of knowing when to hold your emotions back and when to share them. If your feelings are so strong that they are clouding your judgment, it will likely lead to more conflict in the long run.
Prepare what you want to say ahead of time to construct a concise summary of how the conflict is taking a toll on you and (if possible) offer a solution. This way, you are not just pointing at problems – you are proposing alternative ways of working together.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
How to Resolve Conflict at Work Tip #2: Own Your Mistakes
When emotions are running high, and tension is rife in a boss-worker dynamic, it’s easy to shift the blame entirely to them. If we see the problems as coming from external sources, we miss a part of the truth that would help us find a constructive solution.
Try to think about the situation impartially and recognize the part you had to play in the conflict. If you have missed a few deadlines or made several mistakes, admitting to these doesn’t make you ‘wrong’ – it puts you in a position of strength and sincerity.
Conflict with a boss is often problematic to manage because of the power dynamics, but accepting your part to play will help them acknowledge their faults too. Going into a situation with defensive or indignant energy will only deepen the conflict.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.“
How to Resolve Conflict at Work Tip #3: Forgive Others
How to handle conflict in the church Biblically relies on forgiveness and acceptance. Don’t mar your opinion of someone with negativity, but try to seek a deeper understanding of what they have been through and why they acted as they did.
Perhaps they had a lot on their plate when they failed to communicate effectively with you, or maybe their family life has been tumultuous. Give people the benefit of the doubt wherever possible, as you do not know their struggles and strife.
Whether or not they directly apologize for their actions, practice forgiveness. When you have reached an agreement, it is essential that you forgive them with the grace of God and move on wholeheartedly from the situation.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
How to Resolve Conflict at Work Tip #4: Be Respectful
Always treat others as you want to be treated, especially when in conflict with a boss. The minute you begin acting petty out of spite or speaking badly about people behind their backs, you feed the disagreement in a way that spurs it to grow much worse.
Following this golden rule will help you remain clear-headed and grounded, even when your emotions run high. Treat everyone with respect even when they insult or upset you, and you will have acted with the grace of God and can hold your head high.
If you are a church leader trying to resolve problems in your team, read our blog for more tips on managing conflict in the workplace that doesn't involve you directly.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
The answer to the question “how to resolve conflict at work?” varies depending on the severity of the situation, but following God’s guidance will illuminate the right path. Spend more time reading the Bible for examples of Jesus’s strength through conflict, and pray to God for resilience during these trying times.
Skills like patience, active listening, and emotional intelligence also go a long way when resolving conflict at work. Check out this list of 27 conflict resolution skills for even more tips on how to keep your cool and stay calm and collected in the face of difficult disagreements. When done right, conflict resolution is a chance for connection and understanding.