The Wrestling

We started Week #2 of SPLICE today, and my brain is full from everything we have been learning (at least it feels like there is no room left!). Much of what is happening in my heart is wrestling. There are questions that have come up, issues that we are dealing with and there are no easy answers.

Friday we spent the whole day learning about different ways of resolving conflict and the strengths and weaknesses of each. There are five major styles of conflict resolution:

– Directing: these people’s goals are highly important to them but their concern for what matters to others tends to be of minor importance (high focus on task, lower focus on relationship).

– Avoiding: these people tend to withdraw in order to avoid conflicts and spend a lot of time processing (low focus on task, lower focus on relationships).

– Harmonizing: the relationship is of great importance, while their own agenda is of little importance; conflict should be avoided in favor of harmony (low focus on task, high focus on relationship).

– Compromising: these people are moderately concerned with their own agenda and about their relationships with people, seek a solution that spreads the winning and losing (moderate focus on task and relationship).

– Collaborating: they view conflicts as a problem to be solved and seek a solution that achieves both their goals and the goals of the other person in conflict; they are not satisfied until a solution is found (high focus on task, high focus on relationship).

I am definitely a Harmonizer and it was fascinating to hear the perspectives of the other styles. I was confronted with ways that I deal with confrontation that hurt others or make them feel demotivated. As part of our homework over the weekend we had to talk with someone close to us, someone from our family of origin, and a teammate to get their viewpoint of our conflict resolution style and I felt like some of the things I had been learning were confirmed, and other things were revealed that I need to continue to deal with in my heart. This is the wrestling.

Other big questions from today (that probably need an entire post some day):

– Am I reading the Bible through a cultural lens? (um, yes)
– What does truth telling look like in another culture?
– To what degree am I willing to give up feeling “normal” and what does that look like?

 Philippians 2:3-4 (The Message) Put yourself aside and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

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