”Human relationships are always an interesting thing. On one hand, we are aware that God created us to be in relationship with other people, but at the same time it seems we are constantly at odds in those relationships!Mr. ThemeNectarPro Acrobat
Human relationships are always an interesting thing. On one hand, we are aware that God created us to be in relationship with other people (yes, even introverts NEED human contact), but at the same time it seems we are constantly at odds in those relationships! Take the human spirit (broken, fallen) and combine that with the attitude of most artists (emotional, introspective, sensitive, etc.) and it can seem your relationships are destined for a train wreck… especially your relationships which involve a creative working environment. Learning how to function as an artist while working with others is a task that is not easily learned; it takes prayer, concentration, a humble heart, and a healthy dose of ‘getting over yourself.’ I realize that may seem like rather simplistic and brash statement to make, but I’ve come to realize that in every uncomfortable situation that has been birthed out working with others (especially working with other musicians), the best way to handle the conflict arose out of removing any of my own broken ‘humanness’ from the situation before I even attempted to resolve the conflict among others.
Specifically, while working with musicians on various worship teams, I have come to find that the most common root of conflict is personal insecurity and inability to communicate one’s feelings in a healthy way. When a conflict arises in a creative setting, whether you are the leader outside the conflict, or you are the one in the center of the conflict, be conscientious of your own attitude first. What is the root of the insecurity? Is this conflict the product of a one-time occurrence, or is it the result of an ongoing issue that hasn’t been addressed? It is vital to the conflict management process to understand the root of the issue before attempting to fix it. If we only address the ‘issue,’ and not the root, we will be covering up the source of why the conflict arose in the first place. Be aware of passive-aggressive tendencies, sarcastic half-truths, and eye-rolls when you don’t agree with something. Negativity breeds toxicity. Where there are toxic attitudes, conflict will rule over teamwork every time.
Above all else, surround yourself in prayer and have others hold you accountable: Become vulnerable with the places in your life that may act as potential ‘conflict igniters’ when you work with others. If you are about to enter a setting where you know your buttons are going to be pushed, spiritually prepare before you enter that setting. If it is a specific PERSON that tends to push your buttons, pray for them. There is nothing that breaks down the wall of pride and offense more than praying for the person you are offended by, believing the best of them, and consciously deciding that you will be a person of love and grace toward them BEFORE they even begin to push your buttons.
(I am preaching to myself as I write these words…)
Remember your own humanity and the grace God has lavished on you in every situation you encounter with others. Live by the words of Philippians 2: 1-8….
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (NASB VERSION)
Let us strive to be more like Him in each encounter we have; living and fellowshipping in such a way that brings honor to Him. May our encounters with others, the words of our lips, and the thoughts of our hearts be pleasing to Him in EVERY situation.