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Encounter Grow Witness Podcast Episode 8: The Importance of Conflict

Beth and Fr. Steve discuss the importance of conflict in our mission as Christians and explain how to engage in healthy conflict with our superiors, peers, and those we lead.

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Show notes:

(00:38) Beth and Fr. Steve catch up with each other and debate whether or not it’s too early for Fall things, from pumpkin spice to football to pies and cider and donuts.

(09:33) Fr. Steve introduces the need for healthy conflict, explains the good that can be produced from it, and the dangers of poorly executed conflict/passivity. He states the importance of not being passive members of the Church so as to not “sell the Gospel short.”

(12:32) Beth and Fr. Steve reflect on the concept of conflict as a means to more fully share the gifts that Christ has given us. Fr. Steve speaks on unity vs. uniformity, identifying the beauty behind being united as a Church in our vast differences, gifts and unique talents.

(19:18) The question arises of how one is to have healthy conflict. Fr. Steve and Beth respond, establishing the need to acknowledge the good will of the other, approaching their thoughts and feelings with empathy, compassion and wisdom.

(23:30) Beth identifies a variable that affects how healthily we handle conflict: burnout. She notes that when we are overworked and exhausted, it’s considerably more difficult to be charitable to one another.

(25:55) Fr. Steve presents the question of how we are to have healthy conflict with three different groups of people: (1) our superiors, (2) our peers, and (3) individuals we are leading.

(26:36) They begin with the first group, superiors. Beth shares the tip that conflict with this group should always be done in a private, non-group setting, and Fr. Steve shares the conflict tips of knowing the superior’s temperament, being direct with them and charitable.

(30:25) Next, they address how to have healthy conflict with the second group: your peers. Beth asserts that directly going to the person you have conflict with is the best way to have healthy conflict and evade gossip. Fr. Steve adds that approaching our peers with “radical candor” can be a fruitful method in navigating healthy conflict and building solid bonds with others.

(36:54) Lastly, they discuss how to handle conflict in the third group: as a leader. Fr. Steve voices the importance of treating others under your authority with love and charity; Beth adds her method of ‘winning people over’ through increased trust and growth in friendship, along with practicing directness, humility and the willingness to make mistakes.