The conflict between employees is the last thing anyone would anticipate seeing in a religious workplace. However, having worked in a religious organization for about three decades, experience has shown that workplace conflict is inevitable wherever there are people, whether in a religious or commercial workplace.
Factors that lead to conflict are not limited to conflicting work habits, muddled role expectations, differences of opinion about work procedures and contention over resource allocation. The conflict not handled appropriately may affect individual work performance and eventually the organization’s level of productivity.
How can an individual resolve the conflict between him and his co-worker?
(Mat 18:15-17 NKJV) “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16. “But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17. “And if he refuses to hear them, tell [it] to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
There are three steps in this approach:
Approach and engage your co-worker personally to have a meaningful discussion on the issue. Address the issue without attacking the person, and allow them to explain themselves. If the issue remains unresolved after your discussion, take the next step.
The next step is to seek the intervention of others within the organization, specifically among workers at your level. Invite one or two to assist in resolving the differences between you. If the conflict is unresolved at this stage, proceed to the third stage.
Jesus Christ instructs His followers to involve the authorities if the conflict remains unresolved after taking the first two steps. At this stage, you can involve direct authorities in your department or organization. There is every possibility that the conflict will be resolved at this stage. However, if an individual maintains his stand and refuses to respect the authorities, leave him alone to continue with his attitude. Face your work like they do not matter.
Have you tried this approach in your personal experience, or hoping to apply it to an ongoing conflict in your workplace?