Proposal: Conflict Resolution Flow

Conflict Resolution Flow

The Faerie ideas of consensus and subject-subject consciousness encourage a different perspective on working with other people than a corporate, hierarchical, or even democratic mindset. They ask, first and foremost, that we see each other as equals, as someone with his own truth, that fits a little differently into the world than our own truth. Radical Faerie consciousness asks you to approach conflicts from a place of being open (which can be different from being vulnerable), and see the possibility of understanding where the other person is coming from, of learning from them what the situation is in their eyes. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to fully agree with their perception; but there is something incredibly powerful in making the effort to have multiple perspectives to work from. We make our relationships and community much stronger when we put in the effort to meet our sister/brothers halfway.

The Conflict Resolution Flow is designed to encourage people to approach conflicts from this perspective. It is a series of steps that people can go through to resolve issues with others in the community. We also recognize that we are human beings, and every interaction is different, with its own particular requirements. That is to say, this process is not set in stone; people in this community are ready to accommodate different ways of approaching resolution. This process can be used both by people living with each other, as in the Sanctuary, or simply working together within Nomenus.

If you are having difficulty with someone:

1.) Check in with yourself first. Is this an issue that needs to be addressed for your own or the community’s well-being, or is it just a moment’s irritation? Do you need the voice of the person you’re having difficulty with to resolve it, or can you look within yourself to understand and defuse the situation?

2.) Check in with the other person next. If your conflict involves another person, or people, have you addressed it directly with them? Their voice should often be the first you seek for resolution. Are you ready to talk to them in a way that permits both of you to be heard, or are you still in the throes of emotion about the conflict? Take time, take a breath, take a walk if you need to.

3.) Check in with your immediate circle next. Is there a friend you can discuss the conflict with to give you some additional perspective? (Remember the difference between venting – perfectly fine – and receiving another viewpoint: be ready in the second case to hear that you might have contributed to the situation in some way. Ask for the space you need from someone you love.) Is there a person who both parties trust to ground the interaction, who can help both people to hear each other calmly (another member of Nomenus, a longtime member of the Faerie community, a caretaker on the land)? That person can be there to simply watch emotional vibes, or to structure the conversation more closely, or whatever you can imagine. Is there a format for group mediation that you would prefer for conflict resolution? Which voices should be involved?

4.) Check in with the broader community. Failing all other personal mediation, does your issue need to become a formal issue handled by a sanctioned Committee? As involved members, this could go from a small guided discussion, to a structured meeting with an officer or other member, to CoCo, and finally to Great Circle. On the land, this part would start at Land Meeting, then COTL, then CoCo up to Great Circle.

Edited by jphartsong on May 7, 2011 5:44 pm