Reduce anxiety and learn from problems and tension -- for teams or entire congregations.
Every organization or congregation should experience tension. Dynamic congregations have learned how to harness the power in this tension. In “stuck” congregations this tension escalates into conflict, paralyzing and often shrinking the congregation.
Tension and conflict can be especially difficult in a religious organization. The attitude of “we shouldn’t have conflict here!” makes it even easier to allow tensions to escalate. Members and staff easily avoid the issues, not wanting to hurt feelings. Eventually feelings are hurt even more deeply as people work around the issues in parking lot meetings, in e-mails, and on the phone.
The most effective approach to conflict is with a trained neutral third party. This person works with the congregation both to solve the problems and also to heal relationships. The congregational culture is slowly changed into one which sees tension as a healthy part of learning and growth.
Effective conflict management involves these four steps in collaboration with congregational leadership:
• Gather information from as many people and sources as possible
• Assess this information, presented in a written, personally presented report
• Recommend important next steps to be taken
• Implement these recommendations
New Beginnings Consulting remains involved with a congregation for the long term, usually for one to two years. We are not satisfied until we see long-lasting changes take root and grow.