Conflict & Ethical Decision Making: A Christian Leader’s Guide

Christian Corporate Culture, Christianity & Business, Conflict Management, Corporate Communications, Ethics, Government & Law, Management, Managing People, Organizational Culture, Project Management

Challenging situations are inevitable. As a leader, you understand this and are faced with tough decisions on a regular basis. But while decision making is an important part of your job description, the task isn’t easy, and conflict resolution is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. For Christian CEOs and business leaders, ethical decision-making skills are crucial. Not only should you strive to do what is right, but consider the impact your choices will have on others. As you work on making the best possible decisions, the C12 Group has some practical tips for ethical decision making based on Biblical principles.

1. Substantiate the Facts
When someone comes to you with a conflict, gather as much information as possible. More often than not, there are several sides to the story. It is your job to be approachable and proactive. Talk with as many people involved in the situation as possible. Look at the history behind the issue, not merely the issue itself. This takes time and energy but it is a vital part of the process and lays the groundwork of your ability to make an ethical decision.

2. Pursue the Truth
Take time to think through the information that has been gathered. Ask yourself hard questions about the political environment, as well as the interpersonal dynamics involved. Sometimes, there is an “issue behind the issue” – and that is where the true conflict lies. Unless you address the heart of the problem, it will likely arise again.

3. Develop Alternative Solutions
Think you’ve found the right solution? Now is the time to challenge your own thinking and develop possible alternatives. Think outside the box and weigh your options. Even if one approach sticks out in your mind as best, brainstorming can help you confirm your instinct. At this stage, you may also want to consider discussing the issue with a trusted advisor (if possible without violating confidentiality).

4. Consider the Consequences
Now that you have developed several possible solutions, create a list of pros and cons for each one. The immediate reactions and outcomes may come to mind quickly, but consider the long-term repercussions of each solution. Until these outcomes are considered, no leader can be certain that they have made the best decision for all parties involved.

5. Leave Time for Reflection
Once you arrive at a conclusion, avoid acting hastily and sleep on it if possible. Any important decision – especially one that will impact others – should be reflected upon. You’ve done your brainstorming, you’ve consulted with trusted advisors, but don’t neglect to consult with the ultimate source of wisdom. Prayer often provides insight that no other source can.

6. Stand For What is Right
You have made a decision. You avoided acting on impulse and took the prudent approach. Now it’s time to communicate with your team. Be clear, compassionate, and confident in your delivery. As all leaders learn, you must be willing to be unpopular in some situations, but rest in the fact that you’ve followed a process for sound decision making. And remember, the short-term pain of conveying a difficult decision is pale in comparison to the long-term peace of knowing you did the right thing.

c12Group-Triad-Photos3-034A Partner for Growth
As your business grows and evolves, the ability to navigate conflict will contribute directly to your success. Having those trusted advisors who encourage you to pursue Biblical wisdom can make all the difference. C12 Group is an environment where Christian business leaders and CEOs support each other while exploring MBA level concepts for effectively running a company. Find a group near you today or learn more about becoming a chair leader.


  • Kevin Miller Bio

    With over a decade of experience in marketing leadership, brand management, and business development, Kevin has helped numerous companies refine and implement plans to create exponential growth.

    Prior to joining C12, Kevin led a successful Florida-based brand strategy consulting business focused on growing small and medium-sized businesses. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Kevin also has a diverse background in launching start-ups as well as helping struggling or stagnant businesses develop a new course of action. His experience incorporates knowledge from multiple industries including textile manufacturing and design, medicine, real estate, technology, web development, and the creative arts.

    After attending the University of Central Florida where he studied Music Performance, Kevin became involved in worship arts and youth ministries, serving for several years in various leadership roles. He and his wife Beth, an elementary school administrator, have been married since 2000. Together with two sons Kyle and Kamden, they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and backpacking.

  • Troy Blackmon Bio

    Troy came to The C12 Group in 2008, with a diverse background in executive leadership, sales development, team building, and operations. Through his role as VP of Field Operations, he is committed to serve, equip and encourage CEOs and business owners to lead thriving companies that honor the Lord and serve people.

    During his tenure at Chick-fil-A, Inc. Troy learned that business excellence and glorifying God in the marketplace go hand in hand. Troy managed a P&L of $35+ million in revenue and coached business owners in operational excellence and improving financial results.

    In addition, Troy has been involved in leading small group ministry, including planting a church in Seattle, WA. Troy was formerly Partner at OneAccord, a management-consulting firm focused on accelerating revenue for mid-market companies. While at OneAccord, Troy was privileged to work with numerous technology companies in senior leadership positions, managing sales, marketing, and business development activities. Troy most recently served as the President of a technology private equity group, where he led the management teams of 4 portfolio businesses.

    Troy is married to his high school sweetheart, Shanna, and has been blessed with 4 children. He enjoys golf, cycling, and mountain biking with his family.

  • Mike Sharrow Bio

    Mike joined C12 as a member in 2010 while serving as an executive pastor for a large church in Texas and owner of a healthcare strategy consulting group.  Prior to that, he had served in a variety of leadership roles in both operations and sales corporately for the Walgreen Company, financial services as well as strategic development work with Health by Design.  In 2011 he exited his commitments to join the local C12 practice in San Antonio as an associate chair serving CEOs across that market.  In 2013 he and a partner acquired the greater Central Texas region and stewarded it as it grew to a team of 8 full-time chairmen serving nearly 150 leaders.  Mike is passionate about collaboration, strategic planning, Gospel initiatives and BHAG endeavors.

    With a background spanning Fortune 50 corporate settings, startups, non-profit and local church, Mike has been discipled into an integrated life perspective around the calling all believers share to be disciple-making disciples and ambassadors of Christ across all vocations and contexts.  It was in 2005 when God revealed to Mike the perils of a “sacred versus secular” duality in life and since then he’s been on the adventure of living one life in Christ, with work as worship, business as ministry and life as mission.

    Mike grew up in Alaska, graduated from Trinity International University and the Loyola Graduate School of Business.  He married his bijou of an Iowa farmers daughter, Jacqui, in 2002 and they have 2 girls, Elayna and Sophia.