Friday, March 20, 2009

The Sand Labyrinth and Resolving Conflicts

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. I've stirred up a hornet's nest and am getting stung. This morning in the office I "walked" my fingers through a sand labyrinth: bringing to mind all that is bothering me (including my own role in it}; leaving it in prayer at the center trusting that God is with me; and then moving back out to do the work I'm called to do. 

I reminded myself that Rob Voyle has developed a Coaching Spiral (see picture above and go to his site to read all about it) that has helped me before in my interims. I pretty sure we're trying to solve problems of environment, skills and abilities when we need to agree on a common identity and purpose. 

Voyle's wisdom on resolving conflict
"You can not solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it." Albert Einstein.
"Conflict can not be resolved at the same domain as it occurs. We must go closer to the Source of Life to find places of commonality upon which we build community.
While many church arguments appear to occur in the domain of environment, such as deciding on the shape of worship; or the domain of skills and abilities, such as deciding on who can or cannot be ordained. These conflicts can only be resolved by discovering commonality in the domains closer to the Source. Where there is fundamental disagreement over the purpose of the church, no resolution will be possible to conflicts occurring in the other domains. At these times it is probably best for people to sit in silence with each other until they can hear each other’s heart beat and together listen to the heartbeat of the Source of Life.
Don’t try lighting a fire under people to motivate them. All you’ll get is burnt butts. Rather, find the fire that is within them and fan it."
I've been having a hard time finding the fire here, at least during this long winter season. The summer folk come and there is lots of energy, and a lot gets done then, but maybe it's not just the bear who hibernate.  Some more good words from Rob:
"Resistance occurs when we initiate change outside the person or groups' perceptual reality.
Resistance occurs when some part of the system has not agreed to participate in the change.
Resistance occurs when a client perceives that the change will result in a loss of something of value that will not be outweighed by the apparent benefit."
Good and useful concepts. I'm trying to create a positive urgency to help them through the change. The Search Committee is working faithfully and well together and the congregation knows this, but I think some people  are hoping that things will just go back to same ole, same ole when the new priest comes so they can stay in their comfort zone.

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