Let's learn peacemaking together

Posted in president; tagged with idea

What do members think about how we handle difficult conversations (“conflict”) in VECTOR? Strong organizations use a clear, peer-based conflict mechanism so that people can keep trust and compassion high. Teamwork relies on trust and compassion. Please send me your feedback after you read about the idea below (email).

Imagine you start to feel your emotions rise when working with another member. What 4 stages of dialogue could you work through together?

Dear member,

How can we protect the degree of comfort you have working with another member in a VECTOR team? Let’s create a common structure for raising issues and handling them.

Please send me what you think about adopting a “4-stage peer-based conflict mechanism” and adapting it as we use it. A form follows below for your convenience after the details about the mechanism follow.

Conflict Mechanism - a better way to hold each other to account

Just four stages of dialogue to keep trust and teamwork strong, each stage adding a little more external wisdom to the dialogue:

  1. Sort it out privately to reach a solution (using peace-making “tools”)

  2. Nominate a member you both trust to support you both to come to a solution, as a “mediator”

  3. Convene a panel of members (relevant to the issue) who can help you both to come to a solution, a “mediating panel”

  4. Add a director to the panel to support you both to come to a solution

At every stage, only the people directly involved in the “conflict” may propose or reject solutions. All supporting members may only share perspective, observations and suggestions.

Working through conflicts using the four-stage conflict mechanism strengthens people and organizations who practise it.

We can use practices that help us bring tensions to the surface before conflict arises, we can create a safe way to confront each other, and we can bring in teachers to help us keep sharp interpersonal skills.

We might need to learn better interpersonal skills:

  • psychological safety
  • self-management
  • deep listening
  • creating a safe environment
  • dealing constructively with conflict

I already know that I personally must learn how. Apparently, I can learn from Solution-driven Interaction or Nonviolent Communication, which a local company can help us with. The same one that helped at the VVC team-building workshop.

A peer-based conflict mechanism supports the advice process and helps us protect works hand-in-hand with a peer-based conflict mechanism. Let’s explore that next time.

Learn more about peer-based conflict mechanisms from the Reinventing Organizations Wiki, or skim through how other organizations do it:

Powerful tools

I am learning how organizations made up of a network of self-managing teams are solving community needs. These amazingly impactful groups do many cool practices, including:

  • working toward a “just cause” specific to the organization

  • holding an annual “values workshop” so members can review and reinforce how well the organization lives its values

  • using the “advice process” to make decisions

  • using a 4-stage “conflict mechanism” to handle conflict

Parting thoughts

I believe that VECTOR must become a network of self-organizing teams to properly serve our partners. The power and resilience of a living organization will allow us to eliminate single points of failure and truly deliver on our just cause.

Properly serving our partners means we have amateur radio teams supporting all parts of Vancouver with VEMA, VPD and VFRS to deliver messages when needed.

Please send me your thoughts about the idea of creating our own peer-based conflict mechanism, which will help us enhance our safe culture and improve our overall effectiveness.

Jessé VE7DET
2020 President, VECTOR