One of my favorite authors has a quote that I love....
"Self confidence is the ability to exercise restraint in the face of disrespect and still show respect in response" - Simon Sinek
This concpet is truly a tough concept. It is difficult to think that in times of conflict and disrespect I might even try to practice restraint. But, I believe it is a mark of truly great leaders. A great leader can handle disrespect by simply showing showing respect in return.
One of my mentors, a nationally known pastor and leader, once said to me, "There will come a day when some one in your oragnization will try to cut off your head and you will need to keep a smile on your face and and a kind word on your lips." Honestly, I didn't like that! But, the reality is, I was faced with that challenge and I chose to give it a try....IT WORKED!
Great leaders are often "type a" personalities, the type who find it hard to sit still when they are being challenged and attacked. (I'm not talking about healthy disagreements and team challenges. I mean real, negative conflict) Most often leaders like this respond with quick wit, harsh words and punitive action. But, that simply is not the best answer.
As you might have guessed, I believe Scripture has the best answer for how we are handle such things....
"Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good." Romans 12:17-21
The next time you are faced with this sort of situation....Try processing it this way. Whether you remember Sinek's quote or the verses above...Let your response be respect and let God handle the rest!
While I don't consider myself a great leader, I am sure trying to learn what it takes!