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Being a people pleaser is not leadership. If you as a pastor or church leader find yourself trying to accommodate nearly every issue that comes your way or you have become a “yessum” to nearly every question or concern by others, reevaluating your need to be liked is a must.

There is no way that anyone can be a leader and be a conflict avoider. As leaders, in corporation and in the church context, it is crucial for you to be able to manage conflict, deal with conflict and engage in conflict. It’s okay to have fears when you do it — but you need to be able to do it. The more you practice the better you will get at it.

Addressing conflict is not about being harsh, using the “in your face approach”, or about having it your way. It is about searching out the facts, determining what action would show truth, integrity, honesty, and forthrightness. Reviewing those facts gives direction in how to proceed.

Leaders go there. They go where others don’t want to go. Their ability to stay with the issue — and not worry about what others think — is strong and healthy.

The next time your fears control you, stop and ask what your fears are about. Address the fears and then be a leader and deal with the issue. 

That is another trait of an effective leader.

Judy De Wit

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