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One of the most stressful things about work is dealing with conflict, whether with a boss, colleague, or client. In her article in Harvard Business Review, September-October 2022, “How to Navigate Conflict with a Coworker,” Amy Gallo states that relationships were the top source of tension in a survey of 2000 American workers. Would you agree conflict is stressful?

Christians are definitely not immune to tensions in relationships. We also become hurt and agitated and often react in ways we later regret. An effective, professional and God-honoring strategy is crucial when dealing with toxic situations (or people).

In her article, Amy provides the following helpful tips we can use at work.

1. Remember your perspective is just one among many. We have different viewpoints and values, and it is unrealistic to expect everyone to see things the same way we do all the time. When we are confident about something, we find it hard to understand why others do not see it the same way. She advises that instead of taking time to debate who is correct, the focus should be on what should happen going forward.

This reminds me of how God wants us to listen carefully to others.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

2. Be aware of your biases. These include fundamental attribution error (assuming another’s behaviour is more about their personality than the situation but believing the opposite of yourself), confirmation bias (interpreting events as proving the truth of existing beliefs), and affinity bias (an unconscious tendency to align with people who are similar to us). Amy suggests asking someone you trust, and who will tell you the truth, if you see a situation unfairly.

This reminds me of the importance of having many advisors.

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisors. (Proverbs 11:14)

3. Do not make it “Me Against Them.” When disagreeing with someone, we sometimes think of “me vs. you,” or one person is difficult, the other is not, or one person is right, and the other is wrong. She encourages us to think there are three entities in the situation: you, your colleague, and the dynamic between you. That dynamic is about the decision needed to be made or a job to finish. She advises us to think of problematic coworkers as colleagues with whom we share a problem to be solved.

This reminds me of the importance of humility.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

4. Know your goal. We need to be clear about our goals to avoid drama and stay focused. Amy advises us to list goals and circle the most important ones. These include finishing a project, building healthier work relationships, or feeling less stressed with interactions. Write down what you want to accomplish, as people who vividly describe their goals are likelier to achieve them.

This reminds me of the importance of remembering who we truly work for.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

5. Avoid workplace venting and gossip – mostly. Amy states it is natural to turn to others when something is not right at work. However, she warns us to carefully choose who we speak to and what we share. We should look for constructive people who are comfortable challenging our perspective and can be discreet.

This reminds me that God has clearly told us not to gossip.

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. (2 Corinthians 12:20)

6. Experiment to find what works. There is no particular right way to deal with a conflict situation or person. Amy suggests thinking of two or three methods to test. She gives an example of wanting to improve communication with a difficult colleague and suggests that we ignore the person’s tone for two weeks and focus on understanding the message. We should not assume this approach will work but view it is an experiment. She encourages us to keep trying different things.

This reminds me of the importance of being patient when working through things.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

7. Be and stay curious: Amy encourages us to “adopt a curious mindset and maintain hope that your troubled relationship can be improved.” She states that curiosity wards off confirmation bias, prevents stereotyping, and helps us approach difficult situations creatively instead of aggressively and defensively. Curiosity may “snap us out of a mindset that keeps us from discovering an unexpected solution.”

This reminds me of the importance of trusting the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Amy states these strategies increase our odds of improving a situation. However, she cautions us that sometimes change is not possible, and we need to “cut our losses” and focus on protecting our careers and well-being. She ends the article encouragingly stating, “I have found that with good-faith efforts and hard work, even some of the trickiest interpersonal conflicts can be resolved.”

Taking This to God in Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we are imperfect people and we are thankful You guide us through Your Word. Thank You also for practical suggestions we can learn from others which we can apply in the workplace. Helps us always to review all suggestions and advice through the lens of Your Word so we can honor You in what we do and say at work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I pray that you enjoy these helpful tips on dealing with conflict at work.

Have a wonderful week!

Bonny, Christian Women at Work

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"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

In the middle of the hustle and bustle of life as Christian women at work, it can be hard to catch your breath or keep your stress levels down, especially when the unexpected happens or you are in an unusually busy season.

I have found that the days where I start off being still before God in a time of reflecting on His Promises, resting in His Presence, and quietly listening for His promptings are the days where my faith is best put into action at work.

As we take a closer look at Psalm 46, we see a few clues as to why we should be still and know that He is God.

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake with their surging.

We see in the 3 verses above that when we choose God to be our refuge and strength, and turn to Him when we face trouble, we will not fear no matter what is happening about us.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fail. God will help her at break of day.

God is not only with His city but lives it alongside those who inhabit it, and the verse above reconfirms what we saw in verse one that God will always be her rescuer.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall. He lifts His voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done; the desolations He has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire.

We see in verses 6-9 that God is actively at work among the nations, speaking mightily, causing wars to end as only He can by breaking the weaponry and bypassing the defenses of the enemy being faced. Throughout the history of Israel, we see God come to the defense of His people over and over again in some pretty amazing ways!

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

And we end Psalm 46 with verses 10 & 22 which remind us that based on everything we have just read, God has not changed. He is still God, He will be exalted across the world, and He is always with us. So we can be still and rest in that knowledge, and in the safety we experience in His Presence as His daughters.

So how does that translate into our busy days in the workplace?

1. Reflect on His Promises - as we did in Psalm 46 today, spend time reading the Word and believing the same God who protects and provides for His children is the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

Make a list of the Promises which speak the most to you in this season. Keep it in the front cover of your Bible or your notebook, and refer to it every day, but intentionally do so during the more stressful seasons you are going through. This will remind you how He is consistent no matter what!

2. Rest in His Presence - after reviewing His Word, spend some time just being with God. Sometimes I will put on a quiet worship song, and rest in those moments. Not looking at what is ahead for the day, but at the God whom I am spending time with right now.

Make sure you are including this important time to just be with God when you are planning your quiet time. This can be hard for someone to get become accustomed to, so if you have never tried doing this before, begin with 5 minutes.

3. Quietly Listen for His Promptings - then bring your requests to God - your worries or concerns about the day ahead or your family/friends/staff. Once you have done that, pause to hear His voice in response.

Consider writing out your prayers and leave space under each request to write what You hear God speaking to you about it. This will also help build up your faith as you put a record together of your conversation with God.

Bringing This to God in Prayer:

God, help me to look to You first each day before I begin tackling my to do list. I want to learn to be still in Your Presence, become more grounded in my faith, and hear Your voice more clearly. May I rest in You no matter what I am facing, knowing that You are for me, with me, and my place of refuge when things are stressful. In Jesus' name, Amen.

May I walk out this concept of being still as a woman of faith in the workplace as I grow closer to You, God, and become a better worker in my workplace.

Karla Lees,
Christian Women at Work
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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Oxford Dictionary describes courage as the “ability to do something that frightens one.” It has also been defined as “the ability to undertake an overwhelming difficulty or pain despite the eminent and unavoidable presence of fear”. Women in our Christian Women at Work Bible Study recently defined it as “feeling the fear but doing it anyway,” “working in spite of the fear,” “stepping up to the challenge,” and “leaning on God when afraid and then being able to do what we are afraid of.”

In the workplace, as in life, we are regularly confronted with situations which make us fearful or uncomfortable, and we need courage to deal with them. We are also regularly presented with opportunities that can make us fearful or uncomfortable as we consider the decision we need to make and what the outcome might look like. Perhaps you are afraid to do something, but you know you should. You may be afraid to speak up about something, but you know you should.

Courage is the step needed to move from inactivity to activity in a fearful situation.

What is it you feel you should be doing but need the courage to do it? Take a few moments to honestly answer this question. Trust God for the courage to take this step, and make time to review what He says in His Word.

Taking This to God in Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word that gives us everything we need to know about every situation. Help us to always turn to Your Word first for wisdom, guidance and encouragement. Please help us to understand what it means to be courageous. You have told us to be courageous and therefore we know we can be, because of You. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Below are 14 bible verses about courage. Over the next few weeks, consider reading 3 or 4 a week and record what God wants you to know. There will be certain things which will “stand out” to your heart, soul and mind as you read and meditate on them. At the end of this month, record what God has revealed to you and what your next step will be.

14 Bible Verses about Courage:

  1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

  2. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

  3. The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.” (Deuteronomy 31:23)

  4. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)

  5. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ( Joshua 1:9)

  6. “Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (1 Chronicles 22:13)

  7. David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. (1 Chronicles 28:20)

  8. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.” (2 Chronicles 32:7)

  9. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

  10. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

  11. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)

  12. “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.” (Psalm 94:18-19)

  13. “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12)

  14. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Courage application: What is the next step for you in your journey with God? Be specific as you write it down.

May God richly bless you as you turn to Him for courage. Have a wonderful month as you dedicate time to review courage!

Bonny, Christian Women at Work

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