Managing Disagreement and Leadership
For many years, I’ve coached men and women on the importance of this leadership topic. When little “d” (small disagreement) becomes big “D” (BIG DISAGREEMENT), then things have moved to real conflict, and the successful management of a “disagreement” has been lost. In fact, the management of that “disagreement” has failed, if things have moved into conflict.
Do you have a little “d” in your life or in your organization that you need to get a handle on? Are you willing to acknowledge that a little “d” can quickly escalate to a BIG “D?” There is a time-sensitive aspect of managing “disagreement.” This time-sensitive management action certainly involves “getting along well with other people.” Building and sustaining our relationships is essential in great leadership. It’s also important to “be able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view.” Victory in leadership, triumph in business, and success in life has been, is now, and will continue to be a function of how well people work together, play together, and do life together. It’s also important to see, sense, and examine situations from the other person’s point of view.
“Disagreement” is a reality in the life of a leader and in leading. It’s very important that a leader learn how to manage “disagreement.” While the word “disagreement” usually carries a negative undertone, “disagreement” does not have to be negative. The very best leaders don’t ignore “disagreement.” The very best leaders acknowledge “disagreement”, and they act upon it and manage it very well. “Disagreement” between two people can produce lots of “intensity.” This “intensity” can be channeled in different directions. For example, disagreement between two family members can serve as a venue for open and honest discussion, which can lead to better understanding.
Do you want a positive outcome when you encounter “disagreement?” I know that I want very positive outcomes. Some of the leaders that I have served with and under have been especially gifted at managing “disagreement.” The wisest leaders devote themselves to learning how to manage “disagreement.” Certainly we can learn much about this management of “disagreement” when we study the leadership of Christ Jesus.
Consider and examine the Apostle Paul’s writing to Timothy, 1 Timothy 6:3-5 (ESV): “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”
Suggested Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that I will encounter disagreement in this world. I pray for your forgiveness for missing the mark sometimes. I pray for Your help today to help manage disagreement to a positive outcome that honors You, Dear Lord. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.”
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