To steward the mechanisms by which conflicts are handled within NGL continually approximating to an approach looking at conflicts as a learning tool for individual and for the community.
The Conflict Engagement system we built is based on the following principles:
- Healthy: We embrace conflict as a possible indicator of a thriving, growing community, building relationship based on the assumption that under each conflict there is a gift or treasure that is wrapped up in something unpleasant.
- Learning tools: We see conflicts as part of life and we recognizes that conflict is a learning tool and processing it is welcomed; it’s received as an opportunity by the system.
- Recognition of need for support: We honor the fact that people in conflict need support.
- Willingness: We hold a willingness to work with conflicts when they’re smaller tensions and easier to manage, whenever possible.
- Trust: We trust the CE system is robust enough to handle intensity or complexity. We also trust that conflicts can be resolved and that people in conflict will choose what best works for them, it means not each step needs to be followed.
- Escalation: We build a system that pretend to be easy, clear and that doesn’t require extraneous human resources, starting with the parties themselves, then moving to other resources in the community (right now others in the design team/core group), then resources outside the community as is necessary.
- Accountability: We invite the members of the community to share the accountability for identifying the conflict and addressing the conflict when someone is aware of conflict among others.
- Diversity: We acknowledge and name that we are an international, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and geographically dispersed community.
- Easiness: We built the system in such a was that the very first step to engage support is easy.
Our team meets at least monthly to check whether new conflicts arose, to discuss on those who are open or have recently closed and to maintain the system.
Since we acknowledge the social tendency to keep a lid on conflict and endeavor to do the opposite, we are offering a point person to support the parties in conflict and to track known conflicts.
Upon a conflict resolution, a clear resolution is named for the parties involved, to minimize misunderstandings and different interpretations between them.
After a conflict resolves, we propose to parties of the conflict an opportunity to share learnings and celebrations with the larger community, if and to the extent they are willing to, in alignment with the Learning tools principle. We believe that by doing so we contribute to normalize conflicts and learn from them as a group as well as to show how conflicts helped strengthen the community.
We also offer to the community a variety of resources which is accessible at each stage of a conflict resolution process. As part of these resources, we offer periodically a set of questions to the community to pause and reflect about conflict, as a way to foster sensitivity and raise awareness and inviting to contact the CE system in case of need.