What is mediation?
The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. The process is private and confidential. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator's skill and training.
What are our policies about mediators?
Sasona mediators are to: "Be available to members who want to talk about a problem they might be having with some aspect of the house. Keep discussions confidential unless given permission to share with someone else (for example, with another mediator, or to ask the other party in the dispute their side of the story."
History: Originally, Sasona only had one mediator, the Director/Membership Coordinator (which was originally one position). When that position was split into two positions ca. 2007, so there were two mediators, the Steward & the Membership Coordinator. Circa 2010, two more mediator labor of love positions were created.
Circa 2014, this section of the wiki was re-written and adopted by house vote. There are currently at least 4 Mediators. The Membership Coordinator and Steward are Mediators as part of those jobs. There are also at least two other elected Mediators. Sasona members may choose any of these to facilitate the resolution of alleged uncivil behavior or dispute involving other members
What are our policies relating to uncooperative behavior?
See Section 4.9 of the House Rules for details.
188.8.131.52. Failure to do work: A: Sign up for and complete required work B: Attend house meetings C: Don't behave in a way that creates work for others D: Work to the best of your ability E: Work properly and in concert with others
184.108.40.206. Abusive or destructive behavior: A: Exhibition of cruel or destructive behavior towards others, whether physical, mental, sexual, or other. Any forms of behavior found to be abusive will not be tolerated. This includes “ad hominem” name calling. …
220.127.116.11. Privacy: A: Do not enter a member's room without permission B: Don't use a members possessions w/o permission C: Don't touch or invade the body space of a member
18.104.22.168. General Behavior: A: Behavior that denigrates on the basis of race, sex, political belief, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, religion, age, or other personal traits is not acceptable. B: Personal actions that disrupt the right of quiet enjoyment of the house by fellow members is not acceptable. Quiet enjoyment is a legal term which means that a person has the right not to be disturbed or have to put up with unacceptable behavior where they live. C: Behavior that instills fear in people is not acceptable.
What do we as a house recommend doing about uncooperative behavior?
In ascending order of escalation:
- Do nothing
- Talk to the person, asking them to play nice
- Talk to the Steward and/or ask for mediation
- The Steward or chosen mediator talks to them
- Mediation dialogue
- If mediation is refused, bring the issue to a meeting of all house mediators, to decide if this specific refusal to mediate is a permissible non-cooperation or is “uncivil behavior” that should lead to membership review if continued.
Determine whether a CommunityConversation is appropriate. Passed on 04/17/2016 by 8-0-3
- “Inquiry-oriented” membership review
- “Adjudication-oriented” membership review
What are our policies relating to eviction for uncooperative behavior?
House Rules 4.7 detail eviction procedures for Uncooperative Behavior. “A simple majority vote is required” to evict someone from the house.
Policies on membership reviews can be found here: MembershipReviews
Some Proven Mediation Processes
Intentional Dialogue Process
Click here for a description of the Intentional Dialogue Process invented by Dr. Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago Therapy.
Click here for a simplified version of the Intentional Dialogue Process.
Quick Intro to NVC: Quick Intro to NVC.pdf
Click here for more info: NonViolentCommunication
Here's some information from a class on NVC taught one year at NASCO Institute (co-op conference):
Here's some informative websites:
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication
Center for Nonviolent Communication website: http://www.cnvc.org/