Process and communication guidelines
EcoReality Communication Policy
When confronted with a conflict of any kind, the community agrees to adhere to the conflict resolution principles and steps outlined below:
Problem solving ground rules:
- All members agree to attempt to solve the problems by first dealing directly with the person or persons with whom he/she is experiencing problems. Implicit in the agreement is a commitment to honest, direct problem-solving. All members will agree to the following ground rules when involved in conflict resolution efforts:
- A commitment to mutual respect.
- A commitment to solve the problem.
- No Put downs
- No intimidation, implied or direct.
- No Physical contact.
- No interrupting.
- Agreement to use the conflict resolution protocol, below.
Community members in conflict will:
- Make good faith effort to resolve the problem between/among themselves. If this does not work, the members in conflict will:
- Ask a mutually agreed-upon member to help mediate and solve the problem with those having the conflict. If this does not work, the members in conflict will:
- Formally request assistance with the problem.
- If the community is unable to assist in resolving the conflict, and all avenues of conflict resolution have been exhausted, then the community may choose to engage in outside mediation to solve the problem.
Graduated series of consequences
This process is used when someone (the non-compliant person) violates behavioural norms or breaks community agreements. It is meant to treat individuals with respect, yet have "teeth."
The series of consequences are as follows:
- One person talks with the non-compliant person about the problem and asks he or she to make changes to come into conformance with community agreements and/or community behavioural norms. This person will serve as the steward for the entire series, unless agreed otherwise at any step.
- If this doesn't work, that person and one other person, mutually agreed, meet with the non-compliant person about the problem and asks that he or she come into conformance.
- If the first person cannot find anyone willing to meet with them and the non-compliant person, this is probably not a clear violation of agreement nor norms, and should be dealt with as inter-personal conflict between those two parties.
- If this doesn't work, five people meet — the first two and a trusted friend of each, and a fifth person chosen by the two trusted friends, again, requesting that the non-compliant person come into conformance.
- If this still doesn't solve it, the four people create a five-month contract with the non-compliant person outlining how he or she will make the necessary changes. This group meets with the non-compliant person monthly for updates to monitor progress. The purpose of the contract and meetings is not to punish or humiliate the non-compliant person, but to encourage and support their making the necessary changes.
- If this still does not solve the problem, the four people may recommend termination of membership or residency to the general membership.
- If most of those involved at any step in the series want to take an action but one or more people block it, in conformance with our agreed consensus process, the persons blocking it must come up with an alternative that has the same goal — to get the member in question to honour their agreements or conform to behavioural norms.
Third Party Confidentiality Our goal is to have the community be a supportive, healthy environment where there is ample support for conflicting parties to deal directly with each other. We also recognize the need, at times, to discuss, seek advice, or seek confort from others while in the midst of a conflict. Such a situation requires confidentiality. As "third parties" who are approached for solace, advice, etc., we agree to provide these things in the spirit of helping to improve the sutuation. We do not wish to contribute to the gossip wheel, bad mouthing of others, or the perpetuation of problems. If a person who is experiencing a conflict with one or more people on the property approeaches a neutral "third party" it is understood that the person is responsible for keeping the health and well being of the community in mind. That is, while maintainting the confidentiality the third party should remind the conflicted person of the conflict resolution protocol if necessary. In addition , by virtue of being privy to the conflict at hand, the third party is also responsible for monitoring the sutuation. If the feelings, issues, etc., are leading to greater conflict or to a weaking of the community, then the thrid party should take steps toward facilitating resolution, even if this means exposing the facts (not the details) of the problems at hand to others in the community.
Confidentiality With Regard to internal Community Conflict In the spirit of protecting the privacy and rights of the members of the community, we are committed to maintaining confidentiality regarding individual and community issues of a sensitive nature when speaking with people outside the community.
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