When conflict happens inside a community mediation can help a lot. Here at LA Eco-Village we have a group of folks that refer to themselves as the “Conflict Resolution Team” and among other things they offer mediation help. I was trying to explain a part of the mediation process to a couple of friends and i ended up drawing this quick pictorial guide. Mediation starts when one party requests mediation help, then the mediator(s) will have a conversation with each of the affected parties and they will agree on a moment to sit down and talk.
This quick drawing shows what happens then: first the mediator(s) will introduce the process and establish some ground rules. Then one person will explain the nature of the conflict (person A) and the other person (person B) will listen only. This is followed by person B summarizing without responding what person A stated.
Then the roles are switched, person B will explain and person A will listen. In this process some requests and new understandings will arise but in the next step there will be some discussion and enunciation of those requests. They will be written down and everyone will sign a document.
At last there is generally closure in the forms of hugs, handshakes and perhaps celebratory drinks (or ice cream). I’m clearly oversimplifying the process, there is much more nuance and skill required to make this happen. There may be other steps involved and this largely depends on the mediator’s style and the mechanics of the process your group might choose to use. There is also a lot that can be done to improve my drawing but i just wanted to present it as is for it might still be useful. Here is a printable PDF of the image above if you want to use it. If you have further ideas or similar images please share in the comments.