The Analysis of a Conflict Event Between a Co-Worker and Me

Not long after the Wenchuan Earthquake occurred on May 12, 2008, Zuxing and his family were sent by their church to help those victims for three months, where they met Paulo a house church leader from northeast area of China. Paulo is a man of action; he dreamed big even though the beautiful dream (a big project to help the earthquake victims) did not come true finally. They became good friends and fellow co-workers. They even shared the same apartment for two months. Zuxing knew that Paulo might not be satisfied with him since Zuxing did not give as much money (from the relief fund) to support his dream project as Zuxing’s senior pastor promised to Paulo because based on Zuxing’s investigation, Paulo’s project was not practical at all. But Zuxing didn’t think too much about it. To his surprise, not long after Zuxing’s family came back to the States, Paulo wrote a scathing e-mail to Zuxing’s senior pastor to spoke evil of Zuxing behind his back, and the senior pastor forwarded the e-mail to Zuxing and asked him to give some explanations. It was a big spiritual event and crisis for him.

Zuxing felt shamed, insulted, personally threatened, devalued, and he was tempted to defend and vindicate. After struggling for a few days, Zuxing chose not to fight back, but to communicate directly with Paulo who had become reactive and combative. He wrote an e-mail to Paulo in which Zuxing expressed his respect toward Paulo, and he honored his dignity and face. Surprisingly, Paulo’s attitude toward Zuxing flipped by 180 degrees. He apologized to Zuxing and spoke well of him in front of Zuxing’s senior pastor. The wall came down. Conflict was perfectly resolved.

--Rev. Zuxing Chen