Chad Ford is best known as an analyst and entrepreneur covering the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN. His primary work, however, is as a peacebringer, an international conflict mediator, college professor, and director of the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii. In this interview, Chad discusses the concepts in his book Dangerous Love: Transforming Fear and Conflict at Home, at Work, and in the World, and how they apply to church leadership.

Highlights

4:00 Chad’s path to BYU Hawaii
6:30 The path to writing the book started with writing a textbook, then changing to writing it as stories that connect with people in a variety of circumstances
8:30 Written for a secular audience but doesn’t shy away from faith and religion
10:00 Connection with the Arbinger Institute
12:50 Leaders aren’t called because of their pastoral qualifications and training, but a lot of the day-to-day work in leadership revolves around conflict
14:30 Association of sin with conflict and contention leads to conflict avoidance
21:00 “Easy love” and relationships
23:00 Agape: the Greek notion of love described by Paul
25:30 Outward accommodation and keeping conflict inside is not love
26:30 The most difficult person is the person you actually need to get closest to
27:45 This is the calling of discipleship. This is what Christ does. We naturally pull away when people need us the most, when there is struggle and conflict.
30:35 Learning this concept from Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to love your enemies
34:15 This means I have to humbly seek to understand their experience and perspective
37:10 We need to see people we struggle with as people and not as objects. Chad’s own experiences missing this in his life and seeking to truly see at least one person each day.
44:50 The concept of “turning first”: choosing to see the person first and turning toward them, inviting them to connect
48:05 Example of the prodigal son and the father’s open arms
50:00 Example of reconciling with a man in the ward
52:00 We create justifications for loving people less, but can commit to loving more. “In the litany of sins, not loving one of our brothers and sisters is probably there at the top.”
54:10 The unsolvable conflict: you’ve probably tried all of the wrong things on the inside even as you do and say all of the “right” things on the outside
55:00 The seven why’s: Get deeply curious about people. Keep telling me why.
56:15 There can still be disagreement, and this is when you take the time and patience to seek to find the common ground
58:00 Failing to invite those labeled as the terrorist to the peacebuilding process. Unanimous decisions begin with exploring the perspective of others, as with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
1:01:00 When people do feel heard, valued, and seen, they are willing to make adjustments. This can’t be faked and must be felt at a deeper level through the hard work of intentionally building a relationship.
1:03:35 Dangerous love is always a struggle because we are imperfect, but the key is the humility to repent and reconnect.
1:04:30 We have the same stigma around conflict that we have around sinning. Repentance is a gift and our lives should be spent repenting, using this gift to correct relationships and not simply to correct outward sins.
1:07:30 Offering grace to others just as we receive it from Christ
1:10:50 Begin to encourage this by talking about what a Zion ward would look like and how we can build the relationships we need

Links

dangerouslovebook.com
Dangerous Love: Transforming Fear and Conflict at Home, at Work, and in the World, by Chad Ford
The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, by The Arbinger Institute
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box, by The Arbinger Institute