Okay, there is way, way, WAY too much information to put here on the blog. This was an amazing breakout!!! Nancy Ortberg led this breakout. She, along with her husband John (author of many amazing books) led and served at Willow Creek for many years. Nancy now works as a consultant with teamworx2, a consulting group. Here’s the best I can do with putting all this great information on this post.
She began by encouraging everyone to read anything and everything that Patrick Lencioni wrote.
She defined conflict as “passionate and unfiltered debate.”
Leaders need to be the most self-aware person in the room (not in an arrogant way). Leaders need to be comfortable in your own skin.
Here is what happens when you don’t have conflict:
- The best decisions will not be made
- Team becomes a petri dish of mediocrity
- Politics are created
- You take risks without buy-in
- Decisions will be sabotaged (malicious compliance)
- People sin
The further up you go in an organization, the less truth you’ll hear. So…
- Demand debate
- Know your brokenness
So, how do you get it… necessary conflict?
- Create a culture that encourages debate.
- Give people on your team “real time” permission for conflict… and applaud it when it happens (allow people to do it poorly so it doesn’t not happen). When there is conflict, it is a team issue. One on one accountability is not nearly as strong as peer accountability.
How do you do this leading up?
- Ask questions and make observations
- Have the conversations (don’t avoid the conversations that need to be had)
Nancy shared some amazing points regarding some charts and diagrams that I can’t really duplicate here… all I can say is that it was really, really good.
She did recommend a few books.
- The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
- Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most
Important note: Nancy pointed out that you’re going to have conflict… it’s either going to happen inside the meeting or outside the meeting. What better way to experience conflict in a closed and secure way where people can grow and be encouraged. The alternative is to fight conflict on the outside when it possibly involves people who don’t need to be involved and gets out of control.
Last of all: Conflict is one of the most powerful spiritual formation practices. If you haven’t genuinely said “I’m sorry” in the past month, you’re not building authentic community. Nancy poked fun at “spiritual formation” practices that have been popular over the past 2000 years. She said most books and practices have been written/developed by introverted men (her husband as one of them). Necessary conflict is a powerful force for spiritual formation and growth. WOW!
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