Power is defined as “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others in the course of events.” https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=C211US105D20151216&p=definition+of+power
How is power exercised in businesses and/or other organizations? Usually strategically. And with intentionality. Most often as a means. Sometimes, as an end. In a recent article on the web-based news source, Chron, Paul Merchant outlined five common types of power (summarized below):
Legitimate Power = power derived from an individual’s legitimately-earned position within the organization’s hierarchy.
Expert Power = power derived from knowledge or expertise deemed to be indispensable to tasks at hand.
Referent Power = power derived through the admiration, respect and trust of key influencers with whom solid interpersonal relationships have been built.
Coercive Power = power derived through threats, punishments or sanctions.
Reward Power = power derived through the ability to influence the allocation of incentives.
Any power can be used wisely and fairly. Or it can be abused. So much depends on the heart (i.e., motives) of the one wielding power… Amen?
I have blogged often about Coercive Power used against Christian business owners. Most often, such coercion manifests in adversarial encounters with government regulators and courtroom litigators. As Christian business owners seek to exercise their religious liberty in the midst of cultural change.
But religious liberty is not the only potential challenge facing Christian business owners.
Complex legal situations and disputes can arise out of any aspect of business operation, large or small. When this happens, is Coercive Power the only (or even the best) alternative for dispute resolution?
Not according to Christian Mediation (CM), an Arizona-based firm that seeks to help Christian business owners pursue resolution strategies in line with Biblical teachings. https://www.christianmediation.com/
Attorney David L. Rose had spent more than 20 years witnessing the destruction of families by the adversarial nature of litigation. Can you (or someone you know and love) relate?
In the wake of that destruction, David founded CM to help believers resolve disputes as God intended — peacefully, humbly, and with love. https://www.christianmediation.com/about-us/david-l-rose/
Through CM, David and his nationwide network of mediators are trained in Biblical-techniques to help businesses reach more cost-effective, relationship-sparing solutions grounded in the Spirit and teachings of Jesus. https://www.christianmediation.com/mediation/business-to-business/
Telios Law, another law firm offering Christian alternatives to litigation, suggests that Christians doing buisness with each other consider including Christian Conciliation clauses in their contracts. https://telioslaw.com/resources/blogs/in-and-out-of-court-litigation-and-appeals/234-what-is-christian-mediation-should-it-be-in-your-contract
Relevant resources (e.g., suggested contract clauses, Christian-focused arbitration rules and procedures) can be found through organizations like Peacemaker Ministries and the Institute for Christian Conciliation. https://peacemaker.training/about/ AND http://iccpeace.com/
“Good and upright is the Lord… He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” (Proverbs 25:8-9)
“If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people?… The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already.” 1 Corinthians 6:1-8)
Which power do you trust most — the world’s… or the Lord’s?
Please post your comments below.
Diana Furr, a.k.a., Abba’s Girl
This blog may have raised questions for you. If you’d like to connect, engage, or get further help from me, you can… EMAIL me at firstname.lastname@example.org; CALL me at 863-446-1660; or request a complimentary initial CONSULT with me at https://calendly.com/diana-furr.