Adapted from the principles of "Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love"
by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Be the blessing of the Christ when Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love.
“Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3
The B's of Conflict Resolution in a Holistic Spiritual Community.
Be aware, understanding and accepting of conflict. Be positive and hopeful. Be committed to prayer. Be mindful in action. Go to the other in the spirit of equanimity. Be quick to listen. Be slow to judge. Be willing to connect, communicate and collaborate. Be steadfast in love. Be trustful of community. Be open to mediation. Behold and bless the Christ in all and everything.
Attitude and Intention in Conflict.
1. Acknowledge together that conflict is a normal part of our life in the church.
2. Affirm the Divine potential and possibility for greater good in the resolution of conflict.
3. Admit your needs and commit yourself to prayer for a mutually satisfactory resolution.
4. Go directly to those with whom we disagree; avoid behind-the-back criticism.
5. Go in loving gentleness, equanimity.
6. Own your place and part of the conflict and the resolution.
7. Listen carefully, summarize and check out what is heard before responding.
8. Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.
9. Suspend judgments, avoid labeling, don't threaten, respond constructively.
10. Work through the disagreements constructively.
Meditating Conflict Resolution.
1. Identify issues, interests, and needs of all parties.
2. Guide parties away from taking positions.
3. Generate a variety of options for meeting both parties’ needs.
4. Don't support one parties' point of view, or position.
5. Evaluate options by how they meet the needs and satisfy the interests of all sides.
6. Collaborate in working out a joint solution, so both sides gain, grow and save face.
7. Cooperate with an emerging agreement, accepting the possible, not demanding the ideal.
8. Reward each party for each step forward, toward agreement, celebrate mutuality.
9. Be firm on the commitment to seek a mutual solution.
10. Be steadfast in the principle and practice of loving kindness toward resolution.
Be open to accept skilled help. If you cannot reach agreement among ourselves, use those with gifts and training in mediation in the larger spiritual community. If you still are unable to reach agreement or experience reconciliation, in one-to-one or small group disputes, this may mean allowing others to help with mediation or arbitration.
Those serving as mediators should be trained; attempting to mediate a dispute without having the necessary skills can make matters worse. Trained mediators can help people come to agreement on issues and also aid in healing broken relationships. If mediation fails to resolve a dispute, arbitration could be sought. The disputing parties would agree in advance to abide by whatever decision the arbitrators make. The arbitrators listen to each party’s case, consult with each other, and agree on a win-win decision that attempts to address the interests of all the parties.
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Clive deLaporte, LUM