3 Steps to Embrace Conflict

Have you ever had a conflict with someone?

If you’re alive, the answer is yes. Conflict is a part of life. It’s what happens when people love each other, live together, work together, have time together and care for each other. In fact, if there’s no conflict, that means someone has already shut down, and they’ve moved on internally.

It’s my belief that conflict can be a good thing, and it can cause growth for a team, a business, a couple, a family, and friends.

However, most people see conflict as a problem and try to avoid it and run from it. When this happens, growth is stunted, and individuals are unprepared to navigate conflict in a healthy way.

But as leaders, we see conflict as an opportunity for growth and a chance to have deeper conversations. This is why we embrace the conflict and grow.

Right now, is there someone you’re leading that you have conflict with?

If so, this is an opportunity for growth and to have deeper conversations with them. It could be, that through this conflict, there’s a deeper level of teamwork and unity you haven’t had yet.

This is exactly what happened to my basketball team in eighth grade. Our coach was a genius at bringing different kids together from a variety of countries, family dynamics, and ethnicities, to form a bond that wouldn’t be broken.

The conflict was juvenile, but our coach used it to bring us together and to have adult conversations. He showed us how to have conflict in a healthy way by articulating real feelings without attacking the person. I’ll never forget how we all sat at center court and talked it out. We shared how we didn’t like each other, but we were a team. It was a powerful moment in the evolution of our team that has grown into lasting friendships that still go on today.

Moreover, four years later in our senior year, our team won the Indiana State Championship and left its mark in history.

There’s no doubt that wouldn’t have happened if our eighth-grade coach didn’t embrace the conflict and lead us to growth.

This is what leaders do.

We take conflict and lead through it to build trust and have growth, the best we can.

So how do we do this?

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Ephesians 4:29

This verse speaks on how to handle conflict as a leader and the goal of what we’re doing in that moment.

Step 1

First, we don’t react to someone in the moment. This lends itself to abusive language or foul language. It’s my belief that leaders shouldn’t talk this way because it doesn’t make us cool, it devalues who we are in the position we have.

When reacting in the moment, it’s easy to say something we don’t mean, or to say something we do mean in a way that hasn’t been filtered. Therefore, we step back and respond to avoid foul or abusive language.

Most conflicts are disastrous because everyone is reacting versus responding. Choose to step back and respond in love.

Step 2

Second, we are concise while being helpful and good in what we’re saying. Conflict is a time to give sincere feedback in truth, by being helpful and good with a plan for growth. It’s not bashing them or attacking them, it’s leading them.

This is big because leaders utilize conflict as team-building moments for further growth.

Step 3

Third, we encourage others with a clear plan forward. When we lead through conflict, we must have a plan of personal improvement and group improvement. This is why, as leaders, we don’t get lost in the weeds but rather we stay above it and help pull out the weeds for healthy growth.

We do our best to not take things personally because when we do, our ability to lead through conflict is blurred.

We embrace the conflict and grow!

This is what we do as leaders.

So, I encourage you to embrace the conflict. Smile at it and see the opportunity that comes with it. These moments can be tremendous with growth and healing, all that’s needed is a leader who will lead through it.

I believe God has great things as you embrace the conflict and grow!

Have a great day and God is with you,


Pastor David Norris

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