Social conflict is an interaction involving at least two parties (individuals, groups, states) with at least one party experiencing differences in perception, thinking, imagination, interpretation, feeling and needs, objectives, goals to the other party in such a way as to make them feel that the potential for the realisation of their idea is affected. – Glast
Here are some of the ways permaculture and ecovillage networks recommends to minimise conflicts.
A tool to ensure that only one person speaks at a time. Usually used in a circle where everyone are able to share their views. The person holding the stick can speak uninterrupted until they feel heard and pass the stick to someone else. It is generally a good idea to set a max time for each person so that the movement does not get stuck or dominated somewhere.
2. I statements
It may be common to make statements like “people don’t like that kind of thing”, when really we mean “I don’t like that kind of thing”. In difficult situations, it is important that everyone “owns” their feelings about an issue. We can only truly speak for ourselves, not for others.
3. Peaceful communication (read more here)
This is a technique developed by Marshall Rosenberg to help us communicate with greater compassion and clarity. He understood that some of our responses may have nothing to do with what is actually happening in the moment, but may instead arise from our past experiences. There is an emphasis upon listening with deep compassion, to undersand before speaking. Rather than saying something like “you make me angry when you do that”, we might say “when you do that, I feel angry”. The second statement separates the two things somewhat and takes back the responsibility for our experience of feeling something.
4. The four agreements – read more about the four agreements and peaceful communication here.
Now that we have a few tools to ensure peaceful collaboration we can start to work with different frameworks within permaculture and ecovillage building. There are different frameworks but they generally are focused on getting results.
One example is CEAP:
Evaluate this information
Apply permaculture principles
Plan a schedule
A more detailed process may look like this:
This image is taken from the book Permaculture Design – A step-by-step guide – By Aranya
A great book you can take with you into the field at all times.