Conflict Resolution within ClassicPress

Approved at the January 22, 2019 ClassicPress Committee Meeting:

Conflict Resolution

When problems arise between members of the organization (or even outside of the organization), a clear conflict resolution process is needed to resolve the issues at hand with maturity and grace.

  • We trust one another to have the best outcome for the organization at heart, and keep this in mind when working together.

  • We understand that it’s impossible to change other people. We can only change ourselves.

  • We take ownership for our thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions.

  • We don’t spread rumors.

  • We don’t talk behind someone’s back.

  • We resolve disagreements one-on-one and don’t drag other people into the problem.

  • We don’t blame problems on others. When we feel like blaming, we take it as an invitation to reflect on how we might be part of the problem (and the solution).

  • We focus on strengths more than weaknesses, on opportunities more than problems.

  • We listen and take time to process what has been shared before we formulate a response, and seek to frame our response in a respectful and constructive way.

The Process

When a conflict arises, the following steps are suggested as a means toward resolution:

  • Self-examination: Is it possible I do not have a complete understanding, or that I have a skewed perspective? Are my own motives in alignment with the organization as a whole?

  • One-to-one discussion: the two direct parties involved work together to sort things out privately.

  • Third party mediation and/or Panel mediation: When the two direct parties cannot work it out, they may nominate a colleague they both trust to act as mediator. The mediator does not impose a decision; rather, he/she provides some objective feedback and supports the participants in coming to an amicable solution.
    Alternatively, the two parties can choose panel mediation: A small panel of topic-relevant colleagues convened to review the situation with the two parties to provide objective feedback and support the participants in coming to an amicable solution. As in third party mediation, they do not impose a solution.

  • Committee mediation: The committee may be called upon as a final step to review the situation and encourage the two parties to reach a solution. If a solution cannot be reached, the individual(s) may choose to leave of their own accord, or the committee may choose to respectfully part ways with the individual(s). Any time members part ways, CP should adhere to the agreement that we have made to act with maturity and grace, even when others do not. Departures can be treated as learning opportunities for everyone.