Churches seem to attract junkies.
No, not that kind.
I’m talking about power junkies. In churches, they are just as likely to be found on the platform as in the pew.
They are competitive, love an argument, and always seem to be in a tug of war for influence or control. They were certainly out of the room when emotional intelligence was being handed out.
How to deal with them? Here’s the advice of Fast Company blogger Donna Karlin:
Don’t pick up the rope. Do whatever it is you have to do to NOT engage. The only way someone can start a tug of war is by your picking up the rope. If you feel your hand wrapping around the other end, drop it like a hot potato. There’s nowhere to go if you don’t engage. There are always solutions to issues if you stop and take a moment to reflect on your options and collaborate with someone else who can help you deal with this kind of attack-like behavior.
Speak to the topic not the person. Answer with questions that show you are looking at the desired results; not the person’s skill set, behavior or power trip.
Ask for clarification to see if the individual really meant what he or she said. Sometimes repeating inappropriate communication shocks the other person into reality. If nothing else, it will help you clear your head and understand that you weren’t hallucinating when you heard what you heard.
Keep it short, sweet and to the point. The shorter your communication is, the less likely you’re going to fall into their trap.
Rockbridge Seminary students who have completed the online course “Resolving Conflict: Dealing with Difficult People” might also be helped by reading Wade Burleson’s “Lessons in Dealing with a Disgruntled Member” on his blog Grace and Truth To You.