Servant Leaders Lead at Work and Home

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.


Being Humble with Love because living a significant life is about lifting others up.

The Gottman’s Institute is world-renowned for their work on research within relationships. As a Gottman’s PsychoEducational Leader myself, I have found the principles are universal and vital to consider personally and professionally at work and home.

Relationship satisfaction is not determined by the number of disagreements one has, but by the way a person handles conflict or problems when they occur. Relationship satisfaction is about recognizing that the behavior happening from another person is not ideal, and being able to not project an imposter identity onto who a person truly is. Unwarranted behavior is not that person. Who each person is, is valuable and important. Attuning to whether I am critical instead of curious takes much finesse and willingness to be humble with kindness. Appreciating and think the best of others while also encouraging them.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against any of your people… -Leviticus 19:18

Servant Leaders understand the importance of leading with humility, kindness, being a good listener, and lifting others up. Work done by Triune Leadership Services shows how Servant Leadership produces better business results through building a Servant Leadership Culture:

Alexandria Industries

  • 85% increase in sales
  • 75% increase in earning
  • 22% increase in # of employees

Knute Nelson

  • 182% increase in people served
  • 135% increase in sales
  • 17% increase in employee engagement

Along with Servant Leaders, the Masters of Relationships studied by the Gottman Institute are much gentler in the way they approached their conflicts than the Disasters of Relationship.

Working on problems in a constructive way leads to more significant relationships, work, and home satisfaction.

Four recommended steps when regulating conflict; personally and professionally:

Step 1: Being Respectful with Patience in my tone and tact – Softening My Start-Up

When a problem arises, and I sense my emotions beginning to agitate, the first three seconds (Name it to Tame it) regulate a person’s mindset and defense mechanisms. The first three minutes of the conversation will determine how well the conflict discussion will proceed, which can have implications for the future of your relationship. If problems/concerns are raised with criticism, defensiveness, contempt, or stonewalling (the four horsemen), the discussion usually goes downhill quickly, and relationship satisfaction decreases. Using the Softened Start-up approach means bringing up problems in a gentle way.

Step 2: Being Teachable with Peace Accepting Influence

Try to understand each other’s way of thinking; pursue having empathy for each other. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Every time you have a disagreement, a miscommunication, or there are hurt feelings during a discussion; there are two points of view and two realities as to what happened. Both realities are important, valuable, and usually right. Accepting influence is a skill that means finding a way to express genuine agreement with at least some part of the other person’s point of view. Attuning and understanding another’s feelings and position on the issue will help you be able to do this.

Step 3: Being Empathetic with Joy and HappinessEmotionally managing the Interaction and De-escalate

When a conflict discussion becomes negative, a person’s brain floods with cortisol, and their blood pressure escalates called flooding. It is imperative to understand the flooded person will most likely say and do things not helpful and even potentially harmful to the conversation and relationship. Immediately de-escalating as soon as possible is essential.

Step 4: Being Committed with Self-ControlNegotiating

Negotiating requires finding common ground and developing a mutual plan or giving each other freedom in how they choose to stay de-escalated and optimistic in their way of thinking. One crucial piece of knowledge to consider is that by my accepting influence from someone, this gives them a sense of acceptance from me and that I am not trying to control or manipulate them. It helps me to be an influencer within our relationship and situation, which ultimately leads to negotiating. Mutual acceptance and mutual understanding if only 10% can be revolutionary within a relationship, at work and home, keeping conflict at bay.

“Blessed are the peacemakers..” Matthew 5:9

Blessings to your leading at work and home!


Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold
Sara Thingvold, MCLC, ACC, is an Executive and Life Coach, Trainer, and Consultant, sought out to partner with executive leaders and leadership teams, individuals, couples, and groups. She is the founder and owner of Sara Thingvold Professional Services, and a collaborative business partner with Triune Leadership Services. She began coaching and training others when she was a sophomore in high school and started her own company in 2009. She is passionate about encouraging and walking alongside others. Sara and her husband have been married for 29 years They have two wonderful young adult children, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an adorable grandson. Sara is a University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduate and Husker Volleyball player Alumni. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking with her husband and family, gardening, hiking, running, crafting, and various other activities and hobbies, especially exercising her mind, body, and spirit, and being intentional about deepening her own well-being. You can learn more about Sara, coaching, and the online training programs she offers on her website at Sara Thingvold.

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