Conflict Management #1

This and the next three chapters will illustrate a common staff stress situation, and discuss how it might be resolved.

The Project
Jon opened his e-mail. “Meet in the conference room at 3pm to discuss Easter service.” “Great,” he thought. It was already too close to the day to do anything very big, but big ideas would be flying, especially from Heather, and it would be up to him to bring things down to a manageable scale. He hated being that person, but he was the one who’d have to make it all happen. If only they’d let him be the point person! But Greg seems unapproachable on the subject. Why does he feel like he needs to run everything? Greg really has control issues.

Heather was also reviewing her e-mail. “Great,” she thought. She was a capable, creative leader that the rest of the staff, she thought, tended to take lightly. She would bring in great ideas, and every one of them would get shot down. They’d do exactly the same thing they did last year, except for the positions that couldn’t be filled with the same people. There would be high anxiety trying to craft new duties for new people, and Jon would be micromanaging everything. Why did Greg always let that happen? He’s the senior pastor, after all.

Minutes earlier, Greg’s stomach was doing a slow churn. He should have sent this e-mail a month ago, but he’d had to do three weddings and a funeral. If it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else. Anyway, he didn’t even like taking point on Easter, but wasn’t that his job? And Jon didn’t look very eager to accept more responsibility. God knows, he should, the way he took control of the meeting every year. Come to think of it, he felt like he had to fight Jon on most everything.

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