In the fall of 1999, I did it. I boldly crossed the transition bridge from the traditional church I had pastored to a contemporary church plant that would change the region. That’s right, the region. Not just our town, but central Illinois would no longer be the same now that we refused to be contained by an unfortunate church name, poor location, and out of date music. My expectation was that 20 years later, you would go on Google Maps and see a whole different terrain because of that transition.
Don’t go on Google Maps. You won’t see the impact.
Roger wants to pull out what little hair he has left. Frustrations have been rising all week, threatening to pour out over his lower eyelids or through a violent release of his vocal cords. “This transition was supposed to make things easier! I’m pretty sure this is not the definition of easier,” he confides to a sympathetic co-worker.
Down the hall, he hears Brenda, a new staff member, whistling a happy tune as she makes coffee in the breakroom. After a grueling interview process, Brenda was offered the job of Corporate Development and is still riding high that someone recognized that her experience makes her an excellent choice to clean up the mess at this non-profit.
Brenda pops her head into Roger’s office to see if he wants some coffee, but then she feels awkward as she sees his pained expression. “I made coffee if you want some,” she mumbles, then turns and speeds down the hall.
I’m standing at the baggage claim area in Toronto, Ontario waiting for my luggage to arrive. I don’t often check luggage when I travel, but on this occasion it was necessary, and I’m reminded again of why I don’t often check luggage when I travel!!!
While standing there, I started thinking about the reasons for why I check bags instead of carrying them on the plane with me….and, of course, that got me thinking about how to decide what “baggage” to stow and what to keep with me in my coaching conversations.
What’s the last real disagreement you had with someone? Maybe it was a disagreement over politics, or football. Maybe it was the politics of football. Perhaps you disagreed on the vision of your church, the strategy your team should take at work, what kind of vehicle to buy (avoid the minivan!), or how best to parent. With whom did you disagree? Was it a family member, a coworker, a neighbor, a Twitter follower or Facebook friend, or maybe a television news anchor.
As you think back on your last disagreement or a recent strong disagreement, how did you handle it? The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI for short) describes five possible conflict “styles.” Which of these did you employ?