Lencioni, who I really like a lot on almost all that he says, is talking about organizational health, values, communication, and how to bring people together along your values. I am just summarizing at the end some of what I heard that sticks out to me instead of the rapid note taking I took yesterday. He says that you have to do things in creative ways to make sure that your values are communicated. You don't go off of minimum standards, but you spend serious time thinking about who you are and what you want to be and do. Why do you exist? What is your purpose? How do you communicate that and bring people along in it? You need to identify those things and stick with them and communicate them over and over again. You have to communicate at least 7 times before people begin to understand what you are saying.
Clarity of Values. Commitment to those values. Communication of those values. Organizational health requires that kind of clarity, commitment, alignment, and communication. Southwest Airlines was used as the prime example of a company that exhibits all of this really well.
My thoughts on this are that it is essential to know who we are, why we exist, what our message is, who we are trying to speak to, and how we communicate this and bring people along in our mission. At Gateway, we are a congregation of people under the Lordship of Christ in Montgomery, AL. Jesus has brought us together. We exist for the praise of God's glory and to love God and love people to the ends of the earth. Our message is the gospel of Jesus Christ and His teachings on how to know God and walk with Him. We are wanting to speak into the lives of the people in our community from all walks of life who are far away from God and/or who are disconnected from a community of Christ followers. We communicate this message through our lives, our ministries, and through our gatherings.
Now, all of that is very general and those things are the things that any church would say. But, how do we specifically do this at Gateway? This is worth thinking about and articulating more clearly and specifically to our body and our context. What does our organizational health mean for us? For new leadership development? For our community? For what God has called us to? These are questions worth answering and acting on.
New Book: Getting to Yes.
Ury is speaking about the art of negotiation and how we help people work together. We have to learn how to negotiate, listen, and work together with others. The goal is not the elimination of conflict - conflict is natural. Nothing substantial is ever addressed without conflict of some sort. The issue is, can we deal with conflict is a constructive way that helps us move us forward, or will be be destructive?
The biggest obstacle for us to get resolution in conflict is not some other difficult person - it is ourselves. We are the problem. Our own anger and frustration is the biggest barrier. (ME: This is James 4:1-10 - the desires within you). We need to step back and get clarity and think through what our response needs to be based on wisdom and a right perspective. One of the greatest powers that we have in negotiation is the power "NOT" to react. We often need to just step back.
The most significant skills that we need to become good at is to focus on people, their interests, their needs, and then fairness. We must separate people from the problem. We need to draw a line between the people and the problem so we can be soft on the people while being very hard on the problem. We need to listen more than we talk. Be empathetic.
The key to negotiation is to probe behind the presenting issue and ask the question "why" someone wants something. We need to get behind the surface and get to the real issue.
We need to develop multiple options to get to something that can be seen as a mutual gain for all parties involved. If we can get behind the argument and get to what people really want, we can take into account the real desires of people. He used the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel as an example. Egypt really wanted sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula and Israel really wanted security. So, the compromise was to give the Sinai to Egypt but to demilitarize it.
In Conflict Resolution, we need to work from some kind of objective standard that are independent of each side's will/ego. Develop an agreement on the basis of fairness that goes beyond the desires of each side.
BATNA - Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.
What is the walkaway if we don't succeed in the negotiations? What is the alternative? Having a BATNA gives you confidence because you know what you are going to do if you don't reach an agreement. Any negotiated agreement must be better than our BATNA or we know that we can walk away. You think ahead of time about your alternatives if things do not work out.
Ury believes that the way of peace in the Middle East is to go back to the shared heritage of the Middle East back to Abraham, the father of all of the warring nations. What do they have in common? Where can they find common ground? Can they travel from Haran to Hebron together? He actually organizes pilgrimages (www.abrahampath.org) for people to come together and work together for peace - ME: This is a good thought, but I think that it misses the point that conflict can become intractable within a person as their position becomes their identity and their conflict with the other side becomes what defines them. We must find some way to affect change of identity and security.
Abraham Lincoln spoke kindly of his enemies during the Civil War and a woman confronted him for it, saying, shouldn't we destroy our enemy? Lincoln said, "Madam, do I not destroy my enemy when I turn him into my friend?" Great thought. Jesus showed this through sacrificial love and loving His enemies.