Serenity in Conflict

Brian Hammons


Leaders face disagreements and conflict eventually.  Sometimes the conflict comes unexpectedly during a meeting when emotions seem to overtake reason.  It happened to me recently (though the meeting was not related to the church).  During the discussion on a proposal, some persons spoke with passion while others with measured words.  The tension just grew when someone pushed for a vote (unexpectedly).  I spoke carefully of my opinion, trying to acknowledge the validity of the two positions and the importance of finding common ground.  But I did have to take a position, which resulted in defeat of the proposal.  I didn't feel very good about the whole thing.

Leadership can be frustrating.  But focusing upon our main objective is vital when conflict arises.  And keeping our emotions in check while helping the group resolve issues.  In times like these, the "Serenity Prayer" of St. Francis is helpful:

"God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference."

May God grant you serenity, courage, and wisdom as you lead in moments of conflict.