In our struggles, we might become uneasy when we experience strong emotions. Especially anger. In Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, he says: “Be angry and sin not.” How do we live this Christian admonition? How do we attain spiritual growth in struggle, in conflict, and with feelings that overwhelm us? Carole Riley, C.D.P., Ph.D., looks at conflict as a Eucharistic engagement. When we apply the skills and techniques she discusses in this presentation, we may better understand the mystery of life and reach harmony.
Talk 1: “Personal Struggles”, provides the basics of conflict assessment. Conflict happens because a situation is frustrating. Riley covers issues of personal identity, cultural outlook, personality styles and our perception of God. She says that naming the conflict is an opportunity for spiritual growth, and she discusses dimensions that affect choices in our struggles. We can feel hurt and angry, but as God’s gentleness permeates us, we can choose to wish good things for another.
In Talk 2, “Resolving Workplace Conflicts”, Riley looks at different leadership and resolution styles in group situations. To facilitate spiritual awakening, she encourages us to acknowledge our blind spots and appreciate people’s differences. She covers guidelines for resolving group conflict, examines threats to collaboration and discusses roles of individuals in the process. Conflict is healthy when we listen with our hearts, break free of “shoulds” and become pure of heart. Then, fear of struggle will be turned over to God and engagement with life and conflict becomes a holy process. Riley offers questions for us to examine our own conflicts and explore recommended skills.