We will listen to each other,
•In order to build understanding, knowing that we may not have the person’s whole context;
•Compassionately and without judgement;
•In an active way, asking for clarification and reflecting back what we’ve heard while letting the other know that we’re paying attention to them by using positive body language.
We will share with each other,
•Using specific language and avoiding generalizations;
•Articulating our truth clearly;
•Speaking at a volume that can be heard;
•Waiting to speak until the other person is finished;
•Respecting the President’s role in helping facilitate the conversation;
•Honestly, with the President’s assistance;
•With humour, when appropriate;
•From our own experience while refraining from speaking on behalf of others.
When we disagree, we will,
•Have a courageous conversation and share directly with the people with whom we have concerns, using the listening and sharing guidelines of this covenant;
•Separate the issue from people;
•Try direct communication and, if that doesn’t work, go to a trusted person who is a delegate to The Conference Annual Meeting;
•Make use of available Conference conflict resources, including contacting the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, if the first two steps don’t work;
•Always assume the best of intentions;
•Remember our common goals;
•Look for common ground.
•Agree to disagree, when necessary;
•Work toward resolution instead of victory.
When we are striving to make a decision together, we will,
•Take time to pray;
•Work toward consensus (a decision the whole group can live with);
•Be willing to allow the time necessary to build consensus. If this isn’t possible, we will be willing to table the decision for The Conference in the future;
•Be participatory by ensuring that the voices that need to be at the table are there and participate and by engaging with those people who are affected/impacted by the decision;
•Be informed. In order to be informed we promise to:
◾Read our material
◾Distribute needed information to anyone who is part of the decision-making process
◾Hear other opinions and consider them.
•Be transparent by communicating decisions and processes throughout the Bay of Quinte Conference in a way that is easily understood;
•Trust committees to do their ministry. If that ministry is not getting done, we will trust the Executive to work with that committee to find effective steps for moving that ministry forward;
•Take ownership of the decision, act on it and move on.
When we feel that someone isn’t living the promises of this covenant, we will,
•Use the conflict steps outlined above;
•Share our truth honestly and gently;
•Assume the best intentions and remember that the person is likely not doing it intentionally.