Developing Conflict Resolution Skills

Definition of Conflict: Disagreement, contradiction, variance, opposition

Part of the leadership training we do with savings group leaders is how to deal with conflicts in savings groups. It can be difficult for groups to work together because they have not developed conflict resolution skills. When there is a problem between group members they may want to disband the group. Part of what happens in a savings group is the development of conflict resolution skills.

I was in some recent trainings for groups leaders and one of the lessons was on conflict management. Conflicts will come but how will you deal with it? Can conflicts be dealt with in a constructive manner? How can a group grow through conflict? How are relationships affected by conflict? Is it worth ruining relationships to “win” a conflict?

Often, a conflict presents opportunities for improvement. Therefore, it is important to understand (and apply) various conflict resolution techniques.1 What are some Biblical solutions to conflict you can think of?

Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Romans 12:17-18 – Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Proverbs 13:3 – Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
(Other verses: Prov. 14:17, Eph. 4:25, Matt. 18:15-20, 1 Cor. 1:10, Matt.18:21-22)2

Conflict management sometimes include identifying the underlying concerns of the opponents and finding an alternative which meets each party’s concerns.

An interesting observation is that most groups that go through a conflict, and work through the conflict become stronger groups. The conflict resolution skills they learn can also be useful in relationships in the church or in their family.

2. All scriptural references are taken from Chalmers Savings Handbook

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