Policy Example: Dispute Resolution Guidelines

Proposal Name:                  Dispute Resolution Guidelines Proposal

 (Elaborating on Strata Bylaw #27,

subsections 1-3)


Proposal Number:              35 B

Distribution Date:               November 5, 2008

Group:                                   Community

Team or subgroup:          

Contact Names:                  Annie, Mary

Phone:                                   250-898-8308; 250-331-0151


Decision Type (circle):      short term      long term

                                                low impact     moderate impact      high impact

                                                required/emergency                        non-urgent


Background: In November 2007 a proposed set of guidelines for dispute resolution was circulated for community discussion.  This proposal takes these guidelines and the Bylaws: Division 6—Voluntary Dispute resolution, #27 (1), (2), (3) and places them into the proposal approval process.


Intent:  The Dispute Resolution process outlined below is a guideline for a voluntary process, as such it is not mandatory (Bylaws: Division 6—Voluntary Dispute Resolution, #27 (1) (a). This is to be used as a guideline for resolutions of disputes that do not involve questions regarding possible contravention of bylaws or rules; see Bylaw Division 3--Council, #18 (4)).


Dispute Resolution Team:  the dispute resolution team is created on a case by case basis of helpers most suitable to the persons requesting resolution; see Bylaws: Division 6—Voluntary Dispute resolution, #27, (2) (a) (b) 


Values: The values appearing on the Creekside Commons website contain this reference to dispute resolution:

Encouraging positive connections while honoring personal privacy by:

  • Designing community activities that cross age, gender, and ability
  • Supporting all family structures within the community
  • Providing for and respecting personal boundaries
  • Respecting individual and community property
  • Addressing interpersonal issues in a timely and respectful way
  • Following Creekside’s conflict resolution guidelines









If you find yourself in conflict with other community members, these are the steps you may want to take.

Step 1  Take time to think things over.  Ground yourself in the community values, the consensus process, and your spiritual foundations.  Intend to proceed with kindness.


Step 2  If possible, talk to the person with whom you are in conflict, using theCommunication Model*.  If concerns remain, go to Step 3.


Step 3 Let the person with whom you are in conflict know that you intend to seek help from the community for a mediated conflict resolution process.


Step 4  Approach the Dispute Resolution Committee. They will help determine if your issue falls under the mandate of dispute resolution process or whether the issue falls under our rules or bylaws. If the issue relates to our rules or bylaws it must be dealt with by Council; see Bylaw: Division 3--Council, #18 (4a).


Step 5  Plan the mediated process with parties that are in conflict and any helpers.  Experience suggests that members in conflict feel more comfortable when they participate and agree to the following:

·         Who will facilitate?  Experience suggests that two facilitators work well: one to oversee the process and one to oversee associated tasks. 

·         Who else will be involved?  Experience suggests that including three additional people as supporters/witnesses creates a good container for the process.

·         Establish guidelines for the process.  (See the suggested behavioural guidelines on the next page).

·         Set a time, date, location, and duration for the process.

·         Determine the agenda.  (See the suggested agenda).


Step 6    Prepare for the mediated process.

·         Parties in conflict may exchange a written perspective to create understanding and empathy for the other person’s position. Describe your perspective from an “I” position, without blaming, to prevent escalation.

·         Try to stick to observable fact rather than perception.

·         Optional:  One way of developing empathy is by trying to understand the other party’s point of view.

·         The participants should have a chance to review each other’s summaries.