Tools for conflict
From: John Sechrest (
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 09:36:08 -0600
        Hello Dee,
        The social dynamics of conflict are complex and varied.
        I do not think that there is "A proceedure" that will 
        solve the problems. But thinking about it and working on
        many simple tools may improve things for you.
        The intentional community groups have had this problem
        at many levels. And they have all come up with various 
        different filters and tools. I have found reading
        the "Communities Magazine" very interesting in this regard.
        The first place to start are in the 
        "Initial filters" phase. This comes in the form of
        barriers to entry. There is an "Approval committee", or a
        apprenticeship period, or some kind of testing period where people
        are seeing how things work. There are several ways
        to approach this, but even businesses have a probation
        period on hiring. So, this is a good starting point.
        The second place to work on is in the building connections
        phase. How do the people connect with each other in 
        community. Where are the ways that they run into each other
        that are not over issues of planning, conflict resolution
        or finances? This is an ongoing task that needs attention.
        With out it, the third phase is tough. This second phase
        is where the communication skills and relationships are
        built that make conflict resolution possible without
        The third phase is internal conflict resolution processes. 
        What are the ways that people are are accepted into the 
        community are able to bring issues of conflict out 
        and to bring them to resolution in a way that is statifactory. 
        The problem is that each community has to find the right 
        path for this. And it depends on the assumptions about the 
        community. So one size does not fit all. 
        I hope this helps the conversation some.

Dee Dishon <ddishon [at]> writes:

 % Dear all:
 %         It was suggested by Michael McIntyre of Sunward Cohousing in Ann
 % Arbor that I connect with cohousers at this address for a request that I
 % made to him. Namely, we in Blueberry Hill Cohousing need a procedure for
 % mediation/grievance/whatever. We had major problems with one member (who has
 % left) and we want to catch problems much earlier! Anyone have a plan, set of
 % steps, recommendations, whatever!
 %         Thanks a million! Looking forward to making connections with lots of
 % you!
 %         Dee Dishon
 %         Blueberry Hill Cohousing
 %         Vienna, VA (near Wash. DC)

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