Engage conflict well Thomas PorterCo-Executive Director of JustPeace
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How do we create the space and the time where people can...Find sacred space, a relatively safe spaceRecognize their interdependence and interconnectionFind a sense of equality and respectLive out of a relational covenantHave voice - even the quiet onesTell and hear storiesExperience deep listening and respectful speakingFeel responsible and accountable for the outcomeSolve their own problems and find healing
Characteristics of the Circle Equidistant from the center Equal visual access to everyone else Interconnected: about relationships Equal - no hierarchies Equal responsibility and accountability Equal respect Collective wisdom and discernment A way of being in community
The Circle is Sacred...Opening and closing rituals framethe whole time and space togetheras sacred...At the center, a reminder of thepresence of God, for example acandle.A space safe enough, physically andemotionally, for the telling of storiesand the speaking and hearing oftruth.Each person is the alpha and omegaof the circle.Experience the power of ritual totransform lives and createcommunity.
The talking pieceThe talking piece is something ofsignificance to the circle that isrespectedWhen you hold it, you may speak.When you do not hold it, you listenYou may passEveryone has an opportunity to beheard without interruption andcommentary, including the quietones.The talking piece is passed in orderclockwise around the circle.
The Circle StewardSet a tone of respect and hope that honors and supports everyparticipantFrame the circle as sacred by beginning and ending with ritualObtain agreement on the relational covenantRaise powerful questions and issues to addressbefore passing the talking pieceEncourage the telling and hearing of storiesAt the end of passing the talking piece, summarizethe contributions of the circleMaintain the process and respect for the covenant
The Circle StewardWhen appropriate, hold the talking piece and open discussion, but use the samecovenant - recognize one at a timeBe flexibleBe patient - give circle time to workHelp explore options and common groundSummarize consensus or, if there is no consensus,what has been accomplished (openness, honesty,willingness to listen and to engage, respect) and what hasnot been accomplishedHelp them resolve their own conflicts, heal themselves,find justice and right relations, and reconcile with each other
Virtues of a StewardRespectfulFairAppreciativeHonestAuthenticSkillful in processPatient and persistent (hopeful)Humble: Gives credit to the circle for the good results
Advantages of Co-Stewarding Co-StewardingA balance in terms of diversity can assist parties in feeling morecomfortable, especially in conflicts involving race, ethnicity, orgender.Two heads are better than one in deciding on the best process orapproach in difficult cases.Different styles and experiences can provide combined knowledge,skills, and insights.Co-facilitators can take turns or divide up the work. One may focusmore on issues and facts while the other focuses on feelings oremotions, or one can lead and direct the process while the othermonitors and ensures that important elements are not overlooked.
Challenges of Co-Stewarding Co-StewardingIt requires teamwork in terms of preparation,coordination, timing, and cohesiveness.It requires understanding of each others strengths,weaknesses, approaches, and techniques.It requires the ability to strategize and cue each otherin order to stay on track.When assembling a team, meeting with your co-steward before a session is critical.
Building a Co-Stewarding Team Co-Stewarding TeamWho will take the lead role in each step?How will tasks be divided?How will one step in when the other is in trouble? What signals will youuse? How can you quietly pass the lead to your co-facilitator?In terms of individual stewarding style, how can you best complementeach other?What does each of you do well? What do you not do well?What does each of you see as potential difficulties with the upcomingcircle, and how might you handle them?Do a joint evaluation at the end of the circle to sharpen your skills andshare insights about additional strengths and weaknesses.
Preparation for the CircleCareful Planning: haste makes waste in time and energy.Talk with key people to determine issues, concerns and needs.Begin building trust and relationship.Ask who should be involved? Who will be effected? Who might block any decision? Who will bring wisdom to the circle?
Preparation for the CircleBe clear and open about all aspects of the process: Purpose What is being discussed Where and when Decision-making processExplain how the circle worksExplain your roleDiscuss covenants – share basic circle covenantDetermine if affinity circles are needed
Getting Parties to the Table Focus on building trust and gathering information Make the process clear, including: Your role Their Role Volunteer nature of the process Process will work by consensus Ask reality questions: What are the costs of continuing in the same way? What will happen if things are not resolved? Be alert to cultural differences Help people become comfortable with who will attend, what time, and the venue
Rituals Create... OrderCommunityT ransformation of ExperienceOrderCommunityTra nsformation of Experience
Relational Covenant“Share values in action,expressed in a practical manner.” - Kay Pranis
A Covenant for a Circle What is shared while in circle, stays in circle. Personal information that is shared in circle is kept confidential except when safety would be compromised. Speak with respect:ce. Speak from the heart. Speak only for yourself.Be specific. Speak in a way that encource. Speak from the heart. Speak only for yourself.Be specific. Speak in a way that encource. Speak from the heart. Speak only for yourself.Be specific. Speak in a way that encour
A Covenant for a CircleListen with respect: Listen for understanding.Be open to be transformed.Stay in circle: Respect for the circle calls upon people to stay in circle while the circle works to find resolution to the issues raised. find resolution to the issues raised. find resolution to the issues raised. find resolution to the issues raised.
Developing a Relational CovenantHow would you like to be treated?How should members of the Body of Christ be treatedWhat is the vision of the Body of Christ?How do we create the respect for each member as a child of God?How do we create sanctuary or safety for each member of the community?How do we listen for understanding, speak the truth i love, use our imaginations and be forgiven?How are we going to make decisions?How do we deal with the issues of confidentiality and transparency?How do we deal with accountability to the covenant?How do we maintain an openness to revise the covenant as needed?
A Three-Level Approach Appreciative InquiryMoving from Positions to Interests and NeedsHealing the HarmAppreciative InquiryMoving from Positions to Interests and NeedsHealing the Harm
Getting to a Good Place Together Identity common assets, hopes, concerns; establish common ground; build on these List and clarify the issues, interests and needs Work on one issue at a time (usually start with the easiest to resolve) Generate options, to meet interests and needs. Brainstorm as many ideas as possible without critical evaluation Welcome each idea and list them without comment
Getting to a Good Place Together Evaluate the options together. For each option, evaluate the pros and cons Determine which option best meets the interests and needs of the parties. Select options and plan implementation. At all times, look for opportunities to point out areas of commonalty and positive intentions. Acknowledge hurt, anger, and frustration. Affirm constructive moves and highlight progress made.
Consensus ConsensusEvery interest is heard andunderstood.Everyone accepts the outcome(not necessarily agree – stand aside).Accepted because they believe they were heard and a goodresponse was heard.All seek alternatives that address everyone’s concerns andinterests, something greater (higher ground) than anyone’spreconceived ideas (newness).Obligation not to stymie but to help the group meet your interestsand needs.Obligation to continue to try to meet the interests and needs ofthose who stand aside.
Retributive Restorative Justice Justice Crime or - violation of the law - violation or harm to - state is the victim people/relationships inWrong-Doing community - establish blame, guilt or The Aim of liability - identify needs - administer - identify obligations Justice pain/punishment - promote healing - collaborative engagementThe Process of - conflict between - maximizing information adversaries Justice - winners and losers dialogue and mutual agreement
Those Harmed: Their Needs Safety Being heard Answers Restitution and accountability Participation Healing
Offenders: Their NeedsKnowledge of harmCoping with guiltBeing seen as a personin contextSharing in decisions aboutmaking things rightMaking things rightBeing reintegrated into communityHealing
Community: Our NeedsSafetySupporting and assisting those harmedHolding offenders accountableWorking to support, assist andreintegrate offenders in thecommunityAddressing the largersystemic issuesHealing
“Because they are bound together to the event, both victim and offender need each other to experience the liberation and healing from the continuing thrall of the offense. Theoffender needs the victim to trigger or sharpen his contrition, to hear his confession, remit his guilt, and to affirm his ability to start fresh. The victim needs the offender to hear her pain, answer her questions, absorbher resentment, and affirm her dignity. Each holds the key to the other’s liberation.” ~ Christopher Marshall
Nun’s Prayer (17th Century) Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on everyoccasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybodys affairs. Make me thoughtful but notmoody: helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free of the recital of endless details: give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet: I do not want to be a Saint—some of them are so hard to live with—but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, 0 Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.