Peace Tools


1. Get perspective

  • put any strong emotions to one side – temporarily
  • step outside of the moment and take a helicopter view
  • make a distinction between the principle at stake, and the practical issue
  • get a sense of how important the practical issue is or you and its actual, practical effect on your life
  • identify a relationship between the principle and a sense of feeling ‘wronged’ or personal injury that usually lies beneath the principle
  • peer into the future, picture the consequences of the conflict escalating and imagine the lasting damage it could do in your life and the lives of those involved

2. Speak person to person

  • ask the other person if you can talk for a while without getting into rights and wrongs
  • explain that you’re really interested in understanding their feelings and ask if they would be willing to speak only in the first person, say what they feel, what they need and why, and any ideas on how to move forward
  • when it’s your turn, do the same thing: speak only in the first person, express the facts of the situation, what you feel, what you need and why, and ideas on how to move forward, without allowing yourself to accuse, blame or introduce opinions, judgements or arguments
  • if you feel able, try to acknowledge where your behaviour or actions may have caused upset or hurt; even if it feels small and insigniicant in the bigger scheme of things, take responsibility for your part in the conflict, and say what that is: say for example what you could have done differently

3. Really Listen

  • try to listen as if you were a sympathetic stranger, without prejudice or pre-judgement
  • try not to react physically, or facially, and try not to interrupt, but to give your serious, undivided attention
  • try to take in their body language, their tone of voice, and listen in such a way that you ‘get’ what the other person is feeling, how it is and has been for them
  • if the other person accuses or blames, try to take no notice and not react

 

4. Give a voice to the feelings

  • try to listen as if you were a sympathetic stranger, without prejudice or pre-judgement
  • try not to react physically, or facially, and try not to interrupt, but to give your serious, undivided attention
  • try to take in their body language, their tone of voice, and listen in such a way that you ‘get’ what the other person is feeling, how it is and has been for them
  • if the other person accuses or blames, try to take no notice and not react

5. Work together to identify common ground

  • leave aside for a moment your ‘positions’ and investigate the underlying interests – yours and the other person’s
  • see where these interests may coincide, and build on these
  • acknowledge where your differences are
  • build an agreement on what you will both do and say, and fix a time to re-visit that agreement.

6. Show respect

  • try to step out of your relationship with the person as an opponent and see them as a person
  • make a request or suggestion that could help to heal the feelings of hurt
  • find a way to demonstrate your respect for the other person
  • if this is hard, try to find one quality in the other person to appreciate and put that appreciation into words.

7. Support yourself

  • you are likely to face resistance, from all angles
  • conlict often becomes a way to reairm our identity, a basic human need
  • the will to resolve conlict redraws the boundaries between groups
  • support yourself carefully – by reading, by creating a support network
  • looking for a peaceful outcome requires courage, but courage is easier with the right support.

 

 

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Posted on July 7, 2012, in Categorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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