Conflict Is A Little Less Scary With These Tips

MEET 26:12 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

BECKIE HINZE  | MBA

Nothing could have prepared Beckie for the surprises and joys of 26:12, where she serves as Executive Director of this non profit organization. Beckie leads volunteers as they serve in Swaziland, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Haiti, Belize and across the U.S. 26:12 helps employers empower their employees to serve others. They serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in times of natural disaster, to orphans whose lives have been affected by HIV, through medical clinics in developing countries, home repair and a host of other ways.

Beckie has her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas and her Master’s in Business from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Global Leadership program through the School of Inter-Cultural studies at Fuller Seminary. 

She and her high school sweetheart, Rick, live in Fort Worth, Texas. Their kids and grandkids are their pride and joy!

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Do you think women today avoid dealing with conflict? If so, why do you think that is?

Absolutely! I know very few women who look forward to dealing with conflict.

First, the majority of us are overly concerned with what others think – when we are the ones having to confront we can be sure that there will be some negative feelings about us! If we are Christ followers then we know deep within that our main concern is for what our Heavenly Father thinks. For me, though, in all my years walking with Him, it still remains difficult to lay aside my concerns for how others view me.

Second, it is a skill that few of us are naturally born with. But, since it is a skill, it can be learned. Practice makes perfect and if we continue to avoid dealing with the conflict then we never get the practice.

Finally, dealing with challenging situations is HARD – It takes time and can be exhausting so we bury the problems hoping they will go away.

In your experience, what are healthy/Godly ways to resolve conflict?  

The primary foundation for any difficult conversation must be love for the other person.

First, I pray. Then I ask God to show me where I have my own blind spots in the situation. Do I need to ask forgiveness? Have I offended in some way that I am unaware?

If there are points that I want to make sure I remember, I write them down. It may feel a bit formal but when you explain to someone that you want to make sure that the conversation is honoring to God then they will forgive you for your notes.

Set aside a time for the conversation. Make sure if you have felt angry that you cool off. Have your notes. Meet in a quiet, private spot and – with all humility – explain your perception of the conflict. Ask your friend/co-worker/subordinate what they see as the issue. That should get the conversation going.

When my primary role was a mother of young kiddos I realized that each of my children responded differently when I had to assist them in managing conflict. One wanted me to just state the facts – another responded positively when it was handled with humor and another needed gentle nudging before the issue was discussed. It is the same way at work – When I began to understand the differences in how each of us respond to conflict, then I began to deal with it in a healthier manner.

In the same way, we study our co-workers, get to know them – learn to love them - and conflict can be handled in a healthy way. There are entire books and conferences on dealing with conflict. The only way I have learned, though, is like I said previously – Pray – and then just do it. Then do it again the next time difficult situations arise.

What are we missing out on when we choose not to deal with conflict?  

Loving confrontation builds trust between two people. Unfortunately relationships are unraveled when there is no trust. When we do not deal with the important issues of life, our relationships are wounded and suffer, and sometimes die, because we can’t or won’t have the courage to confront the conflict.

Bitterness occurs when conflict is buried over time. Since we are women with choices -  I choose to be open, not bitter.  My dear friend, Char Lotzgesell, taught me some significant lessons from scripture when she had a difficult situation. Hebrews 12:15 teaches us that bitterness doesn’t just defile me – but it defiles MANY.  

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15

Again, I am no expert on this subject. Pray – and pray some more when difficult situations arise.

Fun fact: What book is on your nightstand?

I always have books piled all over my house – and office. But dare I say that what is most exciting to me right now is Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. You can tell I like a book when I have it in print and on my Kindle – and this is one of those rare books – don’t be afraid to read it – I am jealous of how she can put into words so much of what I believe.