GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY COMMUNICATION
A TOOLBOX OF SUGGESTIONS FROM THE RIGHT RELATIONS COMMITTEE (RRC)
We all have been in situations when a difference of opinion, a misinterpreted gesture or expression, or perceived inappropriate behavior by others has caused a confrontation or conflict.
The following are some recommendations that the RRC has developed as guidance for improving our communication and our ability to resolve conflicts. When facing a possible conflict, before you speak up, be aware of what you are feeling and what the other appears to be feeling.
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN AN ARGUMENT OR DISAGREEMENT WITH ANOTHER CONGREGATION MEMBER, KEEP IN MIND THESE GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Find a time and place to talk that is convenient for both parties and that has a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
- Take turns sharing/speaking and listening.
- Decide in advance that you are going to give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
- When you are sharing, keep it all about you. This means that you should describe how YOU experienced and felt about the situation, not try to convey the experience of a third party.
- When you are listening, don’t be thinking about your response or rebuttal. Just focus on hearing what the other person has to say.
- After listening, restate in your own words what you understood the other person said. If you did not get it quite right, ask them to state their position again.
- Take turns sharing one thing you would like to see different and one thing that you can do differently. Let the other person know that what they think, feel, want, and need are just as important as what you think, feel, want, and need.
- Collaborate on a plan to make those changes happen. Hardly ever is hearing “I’m sorry and won’t do it again,” completely satisfying.
- Thank the other person for sharing and collaborating with you
In addition to the above guidelines, please also keep in mind our 7 Unitarian Principles when interacting with other members.
RRC chairs: Emilio Perez-Jorge and Kevin Meredith.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Approved by the Right Relations Committee 1/14/19