During a controversy, how can you satisfy everyone?
We teach church leaders to lead their congregations to change using a technique we use when mediating a dispute in a lawsuit. It's called the "Three P's of Satisfaction." When you're working through a controversy, you want to make sure at the end of the process you've done your best to cover all three levels.
- Process satisfaction. Everyone wants to know it's a fair and just process, that they have opportunity to express their views. They want to know what's coming up and that it's reasonably paced. At the end, as with the justice system, you don't want people objecting because they think the process was unfair.
- Personal satisfaction. People want to feel that they've been treated equally and respectfully. We have to be careful how we address people. You don't call one by a first name and another "doctor." I mediated a dispute once with three people seated at a table. I was sitting at the end. About a half-hour into the discussion, I shifted my position, which turned me away from one of the people. It was unintentional body language, but the party that was over my shoulder got colder and colder. He felt disrespected.