One of the common difficulties in conflict resolution is for work to take place at the wrong level. Attempting to resolve conflict at the positional level is fraught with difficulties. Two people with opposing positions will usually only confront each other and push each other further away. I commonly ask individuals or groups to actively lay down their positions (better without even declaring up front), so that we can move the discussion to the deeper level of needs, interests, values, experiences, beliefs and assumptions. This is a much better space for constructive conversation. Mutual understanding of each other’s rather complex, and not always consistent, cluster of needs, values and interests goes a long way to assisting healthy resolution.
A Sample Grievance Process
From time to time, in every community, issues arise between individuals and and others in organisations. This is normal. In anticipation, this document is designed to assist individuals find a godly and appropriate pathway to see their issues and concerns addressed.
The core Biblical values that support this process are truth-telling (Eph 4:15,25), justice-seeking (Micah 6:8), grace-giving (Col 3:13) and peace-making (Matt 5:9, Eph 4:2-3). The overall process is outlined in Matt 18:15-20.