Conflict Resolution policy

The following policy is broken down for clarity into three parts as follows:

Part A: Overview.

Part B: Clarification giving more details about the policy and procedures.

Part C: Annexes to assist in bringing a satisfactory outcome for both sides.

Part A – Overview

Route 1: This involves both parties approaching each other and discussing their concerns in an open and honest way as described in some detail in annex 2. There is no need for additional support unless one or both parties seek advice. Route 1 usually brings the best results if both sides are willing to look for a solution.

Route 2: This is used when conflicts are more serious or where a satisfactory result cannot be found using Route 1. In this case, the Mediation Team can be called on to mediate at the request of either or both parties. It is important that when a conflict arises it is dealt with as quickly as possible. Once the Mediation Team are involved, they will respond within 3 working days to begin the process of reconciliation, to find common ground and to restore broken relationships and trust.

Route 2 will involve both parties writing down from their point of view what the conflict is about, along with suggestions as to how it might be resolved. Once the Mediation Team receive both written statements, they will call a meeting within 7 days.

The Mediation Team will then mediate to assist both parties in finding an agreeable solution to the conflict. Once agreed, a written statement is then prepared detailing any steps that need to be taken. Both parties will then be asked to sign this statement.

Following an agreed solution, the Mediation Team will seek feedback to ensure any agreed steps have been taken and that the conflict has been fully resolved. Should there still be issues then the Mediation Team will continue to support both parties.

Route 3: If a satisfactory solution agreeable to both sides cannot be found through mediation, then arbitration is available where a neutral third party (usually the National Director) listens to both sides along with background reports by the Mediation Team and decides on the most appropriate action. The National Director’s decision would in this case be final, with both parties encouraged to abide by any decisions made.

 

Part B – Clarification giving more details about the policy and procedures.
Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to give members of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) the opportunity to raise a concern or address a conflict they may have with an individual member or any department within our Family Federation.

The purpose is to provide and encourage open and honest communication where both parties feel listened to without prejudice.

It is the duty of FFWPU to support the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of all its members.

Conflicts within our community are seen as opportunities to improve our commitment and service to each other.

Scope and Goal

The goal is to arrive at a solution to the conflict that is reasonable and fair, arrived at in a way that is efficient and respectful. A satisfactory outcome for both parties should prevent further conflict and hurt.

FFWPU promotes a peace-loving, just society. Mediation Team mediators are therefore expected to have a prayerful attitude in creating a caring and loving environment while supporting members with solving the conflict.

The process should be viewed and experienced by all concerned as an opportunity for personal, professional and spiritual growth as well as the strengthening of relationships.

The procedure is available for any member of FFWPU.

Raising an issue:

Members may raise an issue

  • With a person directly (see Route 1)
  • With the FFWPU leadership or the Mediation Team in order to seek assistance in resolving the issue (see Route 2).

If the concern relates to a member of the Church Leadership or the Mediation Team, the person should raise their concern with another member of the Church Leadership or Mediation Team. For an up-to-date list of these names, please see the end of this policy document.

Route 1 — Personal approach
  1. Where an issue arises and the member feels able to address their concerns without involving other parties, they should approach the other person and express their concerns with a view to resolving their differences. See Annex 2 for guidance on how this may be best achieved.
  2. The person initiating the personal approach should consider seeking counsel from a wise and unbiased senior leader or a member of the Mediation Team before meeting the other party.
  3. This approach may be useful for addressing a personal disagreement or perceived offence. This pathway will not be appropriate where there are concerns about significant power or position imbalances.
  4. Where practicably possible, Route 1 should be the favoured pathway for resolving any difficulty rather than going straight to the National Director or his/her management team. The personal approach is usually more successful in resolving disagreements.
Route 2 — Mediation Team assisted approach
  1. Route 2 should be used in any of the following situations:
    • Where Route 1 is unsuccessful in restoring the relationship; and/or
    • There are concerns about significant power/position imbalances; and/or
    • The issues relate to perceived bullying; and/or
    • The issue relates to a strong disagreement with the manner in which a staff member or volunteer has performed their responsibility.
  2. If the conflict exists between parties within the same community, the community pastor should be the first person to attempt mediation. If the conflict exists between parties in different communities, the Mediation Team should be the first choice for mediation. The Mediation Team may keep the relevant pastors informed if they consider it to be necessary, and with the agreement of both parties.  If an issue is brought to one’s direct leader, manager or pastor then that person is expected to provide support to all parties to find a solution.
    • Where the Church Leadership considers the issue to be sufficiently serious, they are to appoint a member of the Mediation Team to assist in resolving the conflict.
    • The Mediation Team representative will guide the parties through the process. Each party is allowed to invite one person who can witness the process and advocate for each party.
  3. Where all parties involved in the matter are willing to work towards restoring relationships, the Mediation Team will assign a mediator to assist in resolving the conflict, who will:
    • Maintain confidentiality at all times.
    • Be trained in performing the role of conflict mediator
    • Meet with each person separately to ensure they are given an opportunity to express their concern in private, working through their underlying concerns in moving towards a resolution.
  • Clearly communicate the process to be used to each party during the resolution meetings.
  • Hold a meeting with the parties together to identify common ground, work through the issues and determine the course of action.
    • Follow up the case to ensure that the solutions are being implemented, and, if appropriate;
  • Monitor the situation over the following weeks. This should include checking-in with both parties to ensure that the situation is resolving and that relationships are being restored.
  • The Mediation Team should make sure that the mediator is clear about their role to support both parties in finding a solution. Read Annex 3 for guidelines on the role of a mediator.
Route 3 — Arbitration offered if mediation in Route 2 proves unsuccessful.

If for whatever reason mediation fails to bring about an acceptable solution, then arbitration is available. This will involve a neutral third party person, usually the National Director or someone appointed by them or the Mediation Team to make a judgement. Any decision taken at this time is final with both sides supported and encouraged to abide by the decisions and to work together to implement them. If either party still cannot accept the decision and if the outcome of the disagreement impacts the welfare generally of the church or other members then the National Leader is entitled to make organisational changes to minimise the impact of the disagreement. 

Names and contact information for the UK leaders and Mediation Team.
National Director:

Michael Balcomb                  Email:  ukdirector@ffwpu.org.uk

Senior Management Team:         

Michael Balcomb                  Email:  ukdirector@ffwpu.org.uk

Matthew Huish                     Email:  matthew@ffwpu.org.uk

Sylvia Lau                               Email:  hr@ffwpu.org.uk

Mediation Team:

To establish the Mediation Team the following will initially be involved. We shall be looking for others to join in the near future as the team develops.

Cecilie Fortune          Email:  ceciliefortune@gmail.com    Tel: 07941 692256

Inge Chandler            Email:  inch4711@gmail.com           Tel: 07506 783495

Ron Chandler             Email:  fusion4711@gmail.com        Tel: 07579 057681

Hyosung N.        Email:  hyosung@ffwpu.org.uk        Tel: 07522 348257

 

Adopted by the Board of Trustees of FFWPU (UK)

Date:  16th December 2021              Name: Tim Read

Date:  14th December 2021              Prepared by: Mediation Team

 

For review:

Date:                                      Notes:

17th December 2021             First issue

2nd January 2022                   Route 3 added to clarify that arbitration is available should mediation prove unsuccessful.

30th June 2022                       Next review planned.

Part C: Annexes to assist in bringing a satisfactory outcome for both sides.
Annex 1
Time Scales for Dealing with Conflict
Route 1:

Once one party has approached the other then both should make every effort to resolve the issue. It should be considered that the best results are achieved when acting quickly once a conflict has occurred. The Mediation Team are always available to give guidance before approaching the other party.

Route 2:
  1. If adopting Route 1 does not end in agreement and full resolution, then upon seeking support, each party should have their own individual and private meeting with the same leader. After this initial meeting, each party is then requested to write down, in full, their understanding of the problem and pass it forward. The person who has been approached to lend support, having now received written evidence of the conflict or disagreement, will at that point ensure that copies are passed to the Mediation Team. Written evidence should include the key facts of the person’s grievance including: 
  • Date and time of any incident
  • Where it took place
  • What happened
  • Names of the people involved and the names of any witnesses
  • Setting out any evidence to support the grievance.
  • Outlining any suggestions to resolve the grievance. 
  1. Upon receiving the written submissions, the Mediation Team should call both parties in to discuss the problem. This meeting must happen within 7 days. If, however, due to unforeseen circumstances the line manager or one party is not able to meet within this time frame a written explanation must be given to the other parties and an agreed date set for the meeting to take place. If the appointed mediator is not available within the next 21 days an alternative and agreed upon person should be appointed. While in-person meetings are preferable, it is acceptable for the meeting to take place remotely online.
  2. Although certain time scales have been introduced it is crucial that those in leadership positions take seriously perceived difficulties and conflicts and work diligently to resolve them. The Mediation Team has been specifically established to make every effort to ensure that when difficulties arise the impact on those involved and on the wider church community is kept to a minimum. The hope is to find a complete resolution to the problem and the restoration of all relationships.
  3. Once a solution, agreement or final decision is made when Route 2 is used then it should be written down and signed by those involved along with any agreed steps that need to be implemented.
Route 3:

Pursuing Route 3 means mediation could not bring about an agreeable solution. The final route open is for the Mediation Team to appoint a neutral arbitrator acceptable to both sides. Once an arbitrator is found then a new meeting will be called and both sides can put their case forward. This should happen within 21 days giving time for the appointed arbitrator to become fully conversant with the ongoing conflict. A final judgement will be made in writing within 3 days once all meetings have been concluded. Further appeal is not possible.

Should either party still not agree to the final decision then the National Director may take action to minimise the effect the conflict is having on the wider community.

Annex 2

While everyone in a conflict situation tries their best to help resolve the disagreement and find common ground, sometimes a little help is required. The following is a suggested approach to a very sensitive and often emotionally challenging situation.

How to engage in conflict resolution.

Try to realise – and visualise – that both sides of the conflict stand in God’s presence, equal in spiritual origins, equal in destiny, equally real, equally human, equally unique. Fully immerse yourself in this realisation as best you can in preparation before lovingly sorting out your conflict and hurt feelings.

Approach the other party and suggest you should meet, and each have five or ten full minutes in which to clearly, quietly, explain your point of view, your perception of what was actually said or done – what the fight is really about, how feelings were hurt, how the matter should be resolved. Choose to let the other speak first.

Listen to the feelings of the other person. Try to restrain your own emotions and empathise with those of your adversary. Feel their hurt, their indignation, their anxieties. Put aside your own – and feel for them. Ask yourself – If someone had said or done to you what you have said or done to the other, how would you feel? Before speaking, calmly wait in silence until your adversary’s ten minutes are fully up – even if it means they finish before time and both of you remain in silence for a while. Acknowledge as pleasantly as you are able, that you have heard what they have said and that you can understand why they are upset. In that instant of self-control, realise that you have gained a modicum of control over yourself, and you have taken the first step to healing the situation.

On the other hand – if you have not truly understood what they have told you then invite them to explain further – and again do your best to put yourself in their place. Feel their pain. Understand their anger. When you have received the other person into your understanding and acknowledged that you have done so, their ego defences will begin to lessen, you will see them begin to relax. Both of you will feel better.

Having done this, quietly, slowly, carefully – you then give an equally clear picture of the way that you felt in the circumstances. Do not use words calculated to put your opponent down and thus upset them. Remember that you are making effort to control your ego as a prelude to unconditional love. You are working to achieve peace and understanding between you – not to score points.

You should each give the other the right to disagree in gentle words – giving valid reasons for the disagreement. Find the fortitude within yourself to recognise that you, as a human being, cannot possibly be always right since you, like everyone else, has been born with a controlling ego-drive which forces you to take up and strongly defend your position. Remember that whilst you believe yourself to be right, they too believe the same thing.

Try to accept the ‘reality’ of a person – whether you agree with them or not, even if it causes you shock or displeasure. Remember, you do not know the full circumstances of the other person. If you judge, criticise or condemn in any way, you will have erected a barrier between yourself and that person which will not be removed, no matter how much you may wish to overlook everything negative in them and become friends in the future. Unknowingly, what you reject in them will remain as a foundation for future discords which will build up and eventually outweigh the affection. Unwittingly, you will say things in the future reflecting your underlying secret mistrust or displeasure. Instead of accepting their weaknesses with love and helping them deal with and overcome them, you will put them on their guard against you and they will never fully trust you. Your ego and their ego will have had a secret battle which neither of you will be fully aware of consciously.

Annex 3

Mediation.

A trained mediator’s role is to act as an impartial third party who facilitates a meeting between two or more people in dispute to help them reach an agreement. Although the mediator is in charge of the process, any agreement comes from those in dispute.

Mediation is a way to mend relationships when there is a disagreement. Mediation is held by a neutral person. The mediator is impartial, which means they do not take sides. They are there to help everyone involved find a solution they can all agree to. It is not about judging who was right or wrong in the past but looks at how to agree on working together in the future.

 

The Conflict Resolution Policy can also be accessed as a PDF here.