1.  Acknowledge the presence of the conflict. The persons involved must realize and indicate to themselves and to each other that a conflict is taking place. As simple and logical as this sounds, it does not occur often enough.

2.  Help everyone become aware of his/her role in the conflict. Everyone involved in the conflict must be brought to see objectively the nature, character, and implications of her/his own position.

3.  Assist everyone to understand the position of the other. Every member must be helped to see objectively the nature, and implications of the other person's position.

4.  Seek a resolution that does not leave anyone feeling victimized. It would be wonderful if this was always possible, but it is not. Attempt to arrive at a resolution that is reasonable, advantageous, or at least, acceptable to the parties involved.

5.  Clarify what is ambiguous. Ambiguity breeds conflict. Attempt to clarify whatever causes ambiguity: language, meanings, expectations, beliefs, points of view, etc. Employ whatever means are necessary to improve the level of communication and comprehension.

6.  Be sensitive to the capacity of the members to tolerate conflict. The duration and intensity of the conflict must be matched to the capability of the involved persons.

7.  Help people be realistic. Not all conflicts can be resolved. Tension and conflict are a normal part of Christian community. Sometimes the best we can hope for is conflict management.

8.  Encourage the participants to be forgiving. Forgiveness is at the heart of the caring community. We are all wounded persons, and consciously or unconsciously, we can and do hurt each other. It is the not the absence of forgiveness which must characterize the Christian community, but the presence of forgiveness.

Sofield, Hammett and Juliano. Building Community: Christian, Caring and Vital. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN. 1998

xcxxcxxc  F This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 2002 ....x....   .


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