Dynamic Consultation: Group Process from a Bahá’í Perspective

Trip Barthel, M.A.

Preface This paper is an attempt to draw together Baha’i consultation with the modern practice of mediation and facilitation. There are many very practical theories, processes and techniques in common usage that work well in a Baha’i consultative environment. And Baha’i consultative principles are very compatible with the values of mediation and facilitation. This paper is a practical attempt to show how these fields can inform one another and so improve the overall practice. Dynamic means continuous and productive activity or change. Dynamic consultation is a process, grounded in Baha’i consultative principles, that draws on techniques from other sources as a way to amplify the potency of consultation. This paper will present consultation in relation to brain function, learning theory, communication, behavior, conflict, process design, problem solving and decision making. Some of the resources referenced include Baha’i Writings, The Fifth Discipline, Emotional Intelligence, Cracking Creativity, Developing Genius, The Mediation Process, The Promise of Mediation, Participatory Decision Making, 6 Thinking Hats and The Skilled Facilitator. The existence of authoritative interpretations does not preclude the individual from engaging in the study of the Teachings and thereby arriving at a personal interpretation or understanding. A clear distinction is, however, drawn in the Baha'i Writings between authoritative interpretation and the understanding that each individual arrives at from a study of its Teachings. Individual interpretations based on a person's understanding of the Teachings constitute the fruit of man's rational power and may well contribute to a greater comprehension of the Faith. Such views, nevertheless, lack authority. In presenting their personal ideas, individuals are cautioned not to discard the authority of the revealed words, not to deny or contend with the authoritative interpretation, and not to engage in controversy; rather they should offer their thoughts as a contribution to knowledge, making it clear that their views are merely their own. (KA, 221-222) I am the Director of the Neighborhood Mediation Center in Reno, Nevada. In that role I oversee a community mediation program, provide conflict resolution and facilitation training, and facilitate small and large group discussions. These are my personal ideas around consultation and do not reflect an official position of the Baha’i Faith or its institutions. Trip Barthel

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Dynamic Consultation: Group Process from a Baha’i Perspective Course Outline I. Introduction II. Communication A. Learning Theory B. Conflict C. Skills III. Process Overview A. Principles B. Design C. Facilitation D. Faith Models V. Workbook Creating the Context Chair’s role Spiritual Guidelines Hallmarks of Group Process Exploring the Situation and Gathering Information ⇒ Understanding the Issues ◊

Identifying Values

 Generating Options Divergence Convergence

> Decision Making Process verification Consensus Voting Action Reflection V. Summary and Conclusion

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Dynamic Consultation Introduction Bahá’ís use consultation as a spiritual and practical decision making process to discern truth and take action. This paper will explore Bahá’í consultative principles and then consider a number of compatible theories and processes that work well within a consultative environment. This paper will conclude with the practical techniques that can be integrated into Bahá’í consultation. We will first consider brain function and learning theory as a way to recognize our different capacities to perceive and process the world around us. Next we will present communication theory and practice, focusing on conflict. Following that, modern theories around group process will show the relevance of Bahá’í consultative principles. Finally different aspects of processes that are compatible with consultation will be explored. We see more and more in our daily life how the complexities of the world demand new and more creative solutions. We are told that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining who we are. Present exigencies demand new methods of solution; world problems are without precedent. Old ideas and modes of thought are fast becoming obsolete. Ancient laws and archaic ethical systems will not meet the requirements of modern conditions, for this is clearly the century of a new life, the century of the revelation of reality and, therefore, the greatest of all centuries. (PUP, 140) Traditional problem solving has become a combination of power and rights based negotiation summed up in this quote from Getting to Yes: Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. (GTY, xvii) However modern practice has been evolving to a more compassionate, collaborative model of peacemaking as shown in the Promise of Mediation Human beings are thus simultaneously separate and connected, autonomous and linked, self-interested and self-transcending (PM, 243). The path toward the transformative approach to mediation is also the path toward a social reality founded on a new, relational vision of human life, a vision that offers a way of transcending old dichotomies and opening new possibilities for human consciousness and interaction (PM, 259). The ultimate goal of the Relational worldview is that the full potential of human decency is realized (PM, 93), presenting a holistic view of a complete society made up of strong, caring people. The Baha’i Writings stress that we are all part of interconnected whole.

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Please God, that we avoid the land of denial, and advance into the ocean of acceptance, so that we may perceive, with an eye purged from all conflicting elements, the worlds of unity and diversity, of variation and oneness, of limitation and detachment, and wing our flight unto the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God. (KI, 60) And that our perceptions might meet at a single point of unity So long as the powers of the mind are various, it is certain that men's judgments and opinions will differ one from another. If, however, one single, universal perceptive power be introduced - a power encompassing all the rest - those differing opinions will merge, and a spiritual harmony and oneness will become apparent. (SWAB, 63) And that we are unique individuals The Manifestations of God, on the other hand, affirm that differences are demonstrably and indisputably innate, and that "We have caused some of you to excel others" is a proven and inescapable fact. It is certain that human beings are, by their very nature, different one from the other... It is therefore clear that the disparity among individuals is due to differences of degree which are innate. (From a Tablet - translated from the Persian, `Abdu'l-Baha: Education, pages 258-259) So we can se that we are both one and apart, with inherent differences and similarities. In the past problem solving has not been concerned with our interconnectedness but the modern theory of group process is starting to recognize the role it plays in helping groups work together. Baha’i consultation offers a process model that both addresses our spiritual and rational natures through a framework of principles and practical guidelines.

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Communication Learning Theory Each of us perceives the world in a different way and most conflict is caused by these differences in perception. Learning theory can help us understand these different ways we perceive the world. When we allow for these differences in perception in our communication, we eliminate barriers and allow individuals and groups to become more productive. In this section we will look at the ways we learn. The first step in consultation is to derive an understanding of the situation and then compare it to other individuals in the group. The following theories on brain function and information processing help us see how we each use our own unique abilities to perceive any given situation. Brain Function Our left brain mode likes structure and sequence. 33% of us learn by seeing and imagining, 24% learn by listening and verbalizing, 14% learn by doing and manipulating, 29% having more than one modality.

Our right brain mode likes random patterns, is visual-spatial, is emotional

and looks at the big picture.

We need to communicate using sight, sound and action, and address both right and left brain modes to understand and be understood by everyone. ORID ORID is a way of understanding how our brain perceives and processes information. First we observe the outside world. Next we attach our feelings to that observation. Then we give it meaning. Finally we decide on how we will act. ORID is a path to understanding and we can use it as a template in most decision making situations. Emotional Intelligence tells us that we make a choice of an emotion we attach to every observation. Steven Covey says that between every stimulus and response is a choice. Baha’is would say that we need to attach positive emotions to our observations. O - Observation - what we see or experience (factual, common sense) R - Reflect - how we feel about it (intuitive, imaginative) I - Interpretation - what it means to us (analytical) D - Decision - what we decide to do (normative, dynamic)

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Learning Styles and 4MAT 4Mat Information Processing Theories (derived from Kolb and Jung) Imaginative - perceive concretely (think) and process reflectively (internalize) Analytic - perceive abstractly (feel) and process reflectively (internalize), Common sense - perceive abstractly (feel) and process actively (act), Dynamic - perceive concretely (think) and process actively (act) 4MAT is a model of learning derived from the theories of Jung and Kolb. 4MAT theory combines all of the above and says that we perceive concretely (think) or abstractly (feel), and process actively (act) or reflectively (internalize). When we combine these we end with four models of learning: imaginative (think and internalize), analytic (feel and internalize), common sense (feel and act), and dynamic (think and act). Each category contains about 25% of the population. An effective consultation should communicate using all four models of learning and both brain hemispheres so that every individual is involved in the process. Four Ways of Acquiring Knowledge Abdul-Baha has commented on the four ways of acquiring knowledge as: by the senses, by reason, by tradition and through the Bounty of the Holy Spirit. These sources of knowledge can be combined with the ways we learn to provide a complete learning process. There are only four accepted methods of comprehension -that is to say, the realities of things are understood by these four methods. The first method is by the senses - that is to say, all that the eye, the ear, the taste, the smell, the touch perceive is understood by this method... The sight believes the earth to be motionless and sees the sun in motion, and in many similar cases it makes mistakes. Therefore, we cannot trust it. The second is the method of reason, which was that of the ancient philosophers, the pillars of wisdom; this is the method of the understanding. They proved things by reason and held firmly to logical proofs; all their arguments are arguments of reason. Notwithstanding this, they differed greatly, and their opinions were contradictory...So one of the philosophers would firmly uphold a theory for a time with strong arguments and proofs to support it, which afterward he would retract and contradict by arguments of reason. Therefore, it is evident that the method of reason is not perfect, for the differences of the ancient philosophers, the want of stability and the variations of their opinions, prove this. For if it were perfect, all ought to be united in their ideas and agreed in their opinions. The third method of understanding is by tradition -that is, through the text of the Holy Scriptures - for people say, "In the Old and New Testaments, God spoke thus." This method equally is not perfect, because the traditions are understood by the reason. As the reason itself is liable to err, how can it be said that in interpreting the meaning of the traditions it will not err, for it is possible for it to make mistakes, and certainty cannot be attained. This is the method of the religious leaders; whatever they understand and comprehend from the text of the books is that which their reason understands from the text, and not necessarily the real truth; for the reason is like a balance, and the meanings contained in the text of the Holy Books are like the thing which is weighed. If the balance is untrue, how can the weight be ascertained?...

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But the bounty of the Holy Spirit gives the true method of comprehension which is infallible and indubitable. This is through the help of the Holy Spirit which comes to man, and this is the condition in which certainty can alone be attained. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, pages 297-299)

Conflict Groups sometimes encounter difficult behavior that may result in conflict. Baha’is understand that since conflict is forbidden, we must work together to resolve it. Baha’is have very specific guidelines for our relationships that differ in some significant ways from modern practice. Modern conflict resolution processes range from Getting to Yes with their mantra, separate the people from the problem. (GTY, 10) to Transformative Mediation where conflicts embody opportunities for dimensions of moral growth, perhaps to a greater degree than most other human experience (PM, 82). Most modern group process says that both positive and negative emotions are acceptable as part of the process. Getting to Yes says that arguing over positions endangers an ongoing relationship (GTY, 6) but that emotions should be explicit and acknowledged as legitimate (GTY, 30). However Fisher and Ury also caution not to react to emotional outbursts. (GTY, 31) Emotional Intelligence uses the term emotional hijacking when parties react to emotional outbursts. Transformative Mediation offers a problem solving process based on recognition and empowerment, and formed around appropriate expressions of caring and concern. Interventions are based on opportunities for moral growth for the parties, and the individual's empowerment and recognition of the other, attaining a genuinely good form of human contact where a fuller potential of human decency is realized. Empowerment without recognition is just onedimensional moral growth and transforms weak and selfish people into strong and selfish people. Recognition without empowerment results in a forced concession and develops weak, caring people. Both recognition and empowerment need to be pursued and the foundation of empowerment must be used to encourage recognition. (PM, 216-17) This is expressed in the following matrix. Caring

weak & caring

Transformed strong & caring

Recognition Selfish

weak & selfish

Transformative Model

strong & selfish

|_________________________________ Weak

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Empowerment

Strong

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Baha’is, however, are given very explicit guidelines for the individual and the group to ensure the stability of the society. Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to engage in contention and conflict, to strike another, or to commit similar acts whereby hearts and souls may be saddened. (KI, 72-73) O ye beloved of the Lord! In this sacred Dispensation, conflict and contention are in no wise permitted. Every aggressor deprives himself of God's grace. (WT, p. 13) ...they may strive with all their might until universal fellowship, close and warm, and unalloyed love, and spiritual relationships, will connect all the hearts in the world....Then will conflict and dissension vanish from the face of the earth. (SWAB, 19) Clearly, then, there is more to be considered than the critic's right to self-expression; the unifying spirit of the Cause of God must also be preserved, the authority of its laws and ordinances safeguarded, authority being an indispensable aspect of freedom. Motive, manner, mode, become relevant; but there is also the matter of love: love for one's fellows, love for one's community, love for one's institutions. The responsibility resting on the individual to conduct himself in such a way as to ensure the stability of society takes on elemental importance in this context. For vital as it is to the progress of society, criticism is a two-edged sword: it is all too often the harbinger of conflict and contention. The balanced processes of the Administrative Order are meant to prevent this essential activity from degenerating to any form of dissent that breeds opposition and its dreadful schismatic consequences. How incalculable have been the negative results of illdirected criticism: in the catastrophic divergences it has created in religion, in the equally contentious factions it has spawned in political systems, which have dignified conflict by institutionalizing such concepts as the "loyal opposition" which attach to one or another of the various categories of political opinion: conservative, liberal, progressive, reactionary, and so forth. (IRF, 34-35) Because the Most Great Peace is the object of our longing, a primary effort of the Baha'i community is to reduce the incidence of conflict and contention, which have categorically been forbidden in the Most Holy Book. Does this mean that one may not express critical thought? Absolutely not. How can there be the candour called for in consultation if there is no critical thought? How is the individual to exercise his responsibilities to the Cause, if he is not allowed the freedom to express his views? Has Shoghi Effendi not stated that "at the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to declare his conscience and set forth his views"? (Universal House of Justice: Individual Rights and Freedom, Pages: 31-32) When parties can see their own needs as well as the needs of the other party they can truly come to collaborative solutions. The following matrix shows how balancing needs can lead to collaborative solutions. Needs Accommodation Compromise for (Lose-Win) (Some Win-Some Win) other Collaboration Other (Win-Win) Needs Competition Accommodation for (Lose-Lose) (Win-Lose) self ___________________________________________________ Needs for self Self Needs for other

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Evolution of Conflict Resolution Competition Accommodation Resolved by Power

Rights

Based on

Resources

Process

Process

Army Police

Court Arbitration

Compromise Collaboration Interests

Beliefs

Relationship Values Mediation Facilitation

Negotiation Consultation

O SON OF SPIRIT! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes. (HW, 2) It is incumbent upon everyone to show the utmost love, rectitude of conduct, straightforwardness and sincere kindliness unto all the peoples and kindreds of the world, be they friends or strangers. So intense must be the spirit of love and loving kindness, that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference whatsoever existing between them. For universality is of God and all limitations earthly. Thus man must strive that his reality may manifest virtues and perfections, the light whereof may shine upon everyone. (WT, 13) The root cause of wrongdoing is ignorance... (SWAB, 136) If we suffer it is the outcome of material things... (PT, 110) Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to engage in contention and conflict (KA,72-73) The happiness of mankind lieth in the unity and the harmony of the human race (SWAB, 286) ♦ The purpose of man's creation is, therefore, unity and harmony... (PUP, 4) ♦ Unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world. (PUP, 32) ♦ Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. (TR, 338) ♦ Trustworthiness is the ... foundation of all virtues and perfections. (TR, 340) ♦ Man must strive that his reality may manifest virtues and perfections (WT, 13) ♦ The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men. (TB, 66-67) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Is the purpose of consultation for the appearance of justice among men? If any differences arise amongst you, behold Me standing before your face, and overlook the faults of one another for My name's sake and as a token of your love for My manifest and resplendent Cause. (GL, 315-316)

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We love to see you at all times consorting in amity and concord within the paradise of My good-pleasure, and to inhale from your acts the fragrance of friendliness and unity, of loving-kindness and fellowship. (GL, 315-316) Mediation Mediation is a process where a third party with no decision making authority acts to help disputants identify issues, explore options and develop resolutions. Mediation processes and techniques work well within both a facilitative and consultative environment. The following table illustrates some of the key points in the mediation processes mentioned earlier in this paper. (1980) Problem Solving Getting to Yes Perspective Get what you want

(1994) Transformative Mediation (1844) Promise of Mediation Baha’i Consultation Relational vision

Oneness of Mankind

Principles

Separate the people Moral growth from the problem

Awareness / Certitude

Process

Problem Solving

Recognition/ Empowerment

Spiritual Conference

Behaviors

Explicit

Strong and caring

Love, patience, understanding

Outcomes

Objective / Efficient

Relationship

Unity

Getting to Yes says you should be hard on the merits but soft on the people and you should know how to obtain what you are entitled to and still be decent. (GTY, xviii) GTY also says you can proceed independent of trust. (GTY, 13) Getting to Yes says that principled negotiation is deciding issues on their merits, looking for mutual gains and deciding the issue based on fair standards independent of the will of the other side. (GTY, xviii) Getting to Yes informs us that participants are problem solvers (GTY, 13), Transformative Mediation says that human beings are more than receptacles for satisfaction, we are possessors of moral consciousness (PM, 30). Transformative Mediation says that we should raise questions that remind and help parties to consider the consequences of different options instead of reacting reflexively and impulsively (PM, 210). TM interventions are based on establishing trust, moving toward interests and allowing better option generation (PM, 56) that will lead to joint problem solving and produce better settlements. Finally Baha’i consultation is a spiritual conference founded on the oneness of mankind, based on unity and guided by love patience and understanding.

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TYPES OF CONFLICT AND APPROACHES TO RESOLUTION Data conflicts are caused by Lack of information Misinformation Different views on what is relevant Different interpretations of data Different assessment procedures

Possible Data Intervention Reach agreement on what data are important Agree on process to collect data Develop common criteria to assess data Use third-party experts to gain outside opinion or break deadlocks

Resource conflicts are caused by Destructive patterns of behavior or interaction resources Unequal power and authority Geographical, physical, or environmental factors that hinder cooperation Time constraints Unequal control, ownership, or resources

Possible Resource Interventions Clearly defined and change roles Replace destructive behavior patterns Reallocate ownership or control of resources Establish a fair and mutually acceptable decision-making process Change negotiation process from positional to interest-based distribution of bargaining Modify means of influence used by parties (less coercion, more persuasion) Modify external pressures on parties Change time constraints

Process Conflicts are caused by Perceived or actual competition over substantive (content) interests Procedural interests Psychological interests

Possible Process-Based Intervention Focus on interests, not positions Look for objective criteria Develop integrative solutions that address needs of all parties Search for ways to expand options or resources Develop trade-offs to satisfy interests of different strengths

Relationship Conflicts are caused by Possible Relationship Intervention Strong emotions Control expression of emotions through Misperceptions of stereotypes procedure, ground rules, caucuses, etc. Poor communication or miscommunication Clarify and build positive perceptions Repetitive negative behavior Promote expression of emotions by legitimizing feelings Improve quality and quantity of communication Block negative repetitive behavior by changing structure Encourage positive problem-solving attitudes Value conflicts are caused by Different criteria for evaluating ideas or behavior Different ways of like, ideology, or religion

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Possible Value-Related Intervention Avoid defining problems in terms of values Exclusive intrinsically valuable goals Allow parties to agree and to disagree Create spheres of influence in which one set of values dominates Search for goal that all parties share

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FIVE BASIC METHODS FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT METHOD

WHAT HAPPENS APPROPRIATE WHEN USED TO USE WHEN

NOT APPROPRIATE TO USE WHEN

Ignoring or Avoiding

Person tries to solve problem by denying its existence

Issue is relatively unimportant; timing is wrong; cooling-off period is needed; short-term use.

Issue is important; when the issue will not disappear but will build.

Smoothing Differences are or played down; Accommodating surface harmony exists. Results in resentment, defensiveness, and possible sabotage if issue remains suppressed.

Same as above, also when preservation of a relationship is more important at the moment.

Reluctance to deal with conflict leads to evasion of an important issue; when others are ready and willing to deal with the issue.

No Nonsense, Confronting or Competing

One’s position of authority, the rule of the majority or a persuasive minority settles the conflict

When quick, decisive action is needed; when there is an issue of safety; when getting the job done quickly is more important than relationships.

Losers have no way to express needs; could result in future disruptions. Relationships are more important than speed.

Compromising

Each party gives up Both parties have something in order enough leeway to to meet midway. give; resources are limited; goals are only moderately important; for temporary settlements.

Original position is unrealistic and inflated; solution must be watered down to be effective; commitment is doubted by parties involved.

Problem Solving or Collaborating

Abilities, values and expertise of all are recognized; each person’s position is clear; emphasis is on a group solution.

The conditions of time, abilities, and commitment are not present. When there are issues of safety

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When you need to have everyone buy in; when issues for both sides are too important to be compromised; to include diverse perspectives on a problem

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TOOLBOX Guidelines for Negotiating with People Having Different Styles 1. Negotiating with someone having a factual style: • Be precise in presenting your facts. • Refer to the past (which has already been tried out, what has worked, what has been shown from past experiences...). • Be inductive (go from the facts to the principles). • Know your dossier (including the details). • Document what you say. 2. • • • • •

Negotiating with someone having an intuitive style: Focus on the situation as a whole. Project yourself into the future (look for opportunities). Tap the imagination and creativity of your partner. Be quick in reacting (jump from one idea to another)/ Build upon the reaction of the other person.

3. • • • • •

Negotiating with someone having an analytical style: Use logic when arguing. Look for causes and effects. Analyze the relationships between the various elements of the situation or problem at stake. Be patient. Analyze various options with their respective pros and cons.

4. • • • • •

Negotiations with someone having a normative style: Establish a sound relationship right at the outset of the negotiation. Show your interest in what the other person is saying. Identify his or her values and adjust to them accordingly. Be ready to compromise. Appeal to your partner’s feelings.

from Culture Clash: Managing in a Multicultural World, pg128-129

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Skills They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. (SWAB, 88) We return to the phenomenal characteristics of speech. Content, volume, style, tact, wisdom, timeliness are among the critical factors in determining the effects of speech for good or evil. Consequently, the friends need ever to be conscious of the significance of this activity which so distinguishes human beings from other forms of life, and they must exercise it judiciously. Their efforts at such discipline will give birth to an etiquette of expression worthy of the approaching maturity of the human race. Just as this discipline applies to the spoken word, it applies equally to the written word; and it profoundly affects the operation of the press. (IRF, Page: 37) Conflicts occur because disputants often fail to consider that others might perceive things differently. Communication is key to seeing things through another's eyes and resolving disputes. Until each party is able to see the other's point of view it is difficult to begin the resolution process. People use their own frame of reference and tend to jump to conclusions about others. Before we consider verbal communication let's look at the physical and emotional aspects. This involves a greater awareness of what we already know. In communication you should be aware of how the parties physically appear. While there is no universal body language, crossed arms may indicate confrontation, and leaning back or looking around the room may indicate avoidance. Eye contact, open posture and leaning forward may be indicators of interest. You need to observe these actions to assess the parties interest and to understand where they are in the resolution process. Listening for emotional content of the words will also help assess their progress. Communication is approximately 7% words, 38% tone and 55% body language (aspects of all 3 are contained in each.) Open-ended questions helps get others to talk and encourages communication. Openended questions require more than a single word answer. Furthering responses, such as "Tell me more about it," can help keep the speaker talking. Factual questions can also help diffuse emotional content. I-statements change the ownership of the feeling from the other to yourself. I-statements are risky because they require careful word choice and sincere willingness to own a feeling. However, they can diffuse anger and prepare others to listen carefully. Active Listening is an important technique in conflict resolution. When parties feel heard they are more open to the perceptions of others and willing to consider a wider range of options. The steps in active listening usually include: acknowledge, validate, empathize, clarify, summarize. Anger frequently appears during conflict resolution. Aristotle said that it is one thing to be angry but that it is quite another to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the

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right time for the right purpose and in the right way. Anger is a response to a threat to one's psychological needs. Anger is not always harmful and quite often people need to be assertive and explain how they feel. Paraphrasing both content and emotion is helpful, but if anger is too high, re-framing may be more appropriate. One method to diffuse anger is to 1.) listen and let the person vent, 2.) relax and don't get defensive, 3.) re-frame, without rising to the level of their emotional intensity, to make sure the person knows they have been heard, and 4.) problem solve to explore ways to make things better. Paraphrasing, or restating, is when the listener repeats what has been said in their own words. The listener must respond with both the content and emotion to show the speaker that what has been said has been understood. After feeling accurately heard, a disputant becomes more willing to explore problem solving options. Summarizing after a period of time also helps clarify the speaker's thoughts. Re-framing is toning down the emotional intensity of what has been said. This may help ease anger and tension, and allow the other disputant to hear what is said without the damaging emotional content. Re-framing may also help clarify what has been stated. On the following pages are some exercises in communication that help eliminate roadblocks and lead to more productive exchanges.

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CLARIFYING MISPERCEPTION GENERALIZING: Mediator: Mediator:

“He always comes late!” “When does he come late? ...What is he late to?” “No one cares how I feel.” “Who doesn’t care? In what way don’t they care?”

UNSPECIFIED NOUN OR VERB: “I don’t like that sort of thing.” Mediator: “What is that you dislike?” “He just bugs me!” Mediator: “When (or how) does he bug you?” “He never cooperates with anything I want to do.” Mediator: “When doesn’t he cooperate? Cooperate in what? How SPEAKING FOR OTHERS: “I happen to know that no one else around here can get Mediator” “Speaking from your own experience with Mr. Brown, could EXERCISE: Write a question or response to the following defective statements that would elicit helpful information: 1.

She’s jealous,... That’s the problem.

2.

No one in that group is willing to handle this problem.

3.

She’s always yelling at me.

4.

He’s the most uncooperative employee I’ve ever had.

5.

The problem here is dishonesty,

6.

That’s just the way men (women) are.

7.

People around here are cold and unfriendly.

8.

That guy was incredibly rude.

9.

Everyone on the block has trouble with him.

10.

They’re always messing around in our things.

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COMMUNICATION LEADS FOR RESOLVING CONFLICT COMMUNICATION LEADS can be useful in resolving conflict as a mediator. All statements and questions should be impartial. PARAPHRASING: It is necessary that each party feel that he/she has not only been heard, but has also been understood. When the mediator paraphrases what has been said, a party is able to either agree with how the message was received or correct the mediator's interpretation. The following communication leads can be used to preface a paraphrase: * What you are saying is ... * You think * I hear you saying. .. * I believe I heard you say. . * You mean. * I hear you really saying. .. * Correct me if I am wrong. .. * You figure. .. * It seems to you. .. * From your point of view. .. * As you see it ... * You believe. VENTING FEELINGS: It is unproductive to begin problem-solving unless the parties have vented and expressed their feelings. By using some of the communication leads listed below, a mediator encourages the parties to vent fully before attempting to work toward a solution: * It seems that you feel. .. * I sense that you feel...* I hear you saying you feel. . * You are feeling...* So you are saying you are feeling. .. * I gather you must feel DIALOGUE: The mediator's role is to encourage dialogue_between two parties after the initial statements have been made. At times, the parties talk to the mediator when they feel uncomfortable talking to each other. The mediator may consider using one of the following phrases or questions to encourage dialogue: * Would you like to respond to what he * Tell him what you just heard him say. * Now it's your turn. * Why don't you tell him that? * Is there anything else you want to tell him? * Tell him how you feel about that. GIVING CREDIT FOR SOLUTIONS: In generating options for a solution, it is vital that the parties own the solution. The mediator should give the parties credit when suggesting a solution which the parties mentioned during the dialogue. The following phrases may be useful in communicating proper ownership of a suggested solution: * Did I hear you say. .. * Frank, you mentioned...* I heard you suggest that. . * I wonder if your offer to ... * Something I heard you say * So you would agree to .. QUESTIONS TO BEGIN BRAINSTORMING can be asked if no solutions were suggested: * How would you like to see this situation resolved? * What ideas do you have for an agreement? * What solutions do you have to offer? * Is there another way your interests can be met? * Frank wants. ..Is there a way you could support that? * What would the future look like if it were up to you? * What are you willing to give to get what you want?

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HELPFUL PHRASES AND QUESTIONS FOR MEDIATORS 1.

“Please tell me what happened.”

2.

“Can you give me an example?”

3.

“How are you feeling about this?”

4.

“Can you tell me more about the situation?”

5.

“What did you mean when you said...?”

6.

“Can you explain more about...?”

7.

“Why do you think that happened?”

8.

“Why does the other person believe there is a problem?”

9.

“It sounds as if the two of you have very different perceptions of what

10.

“Because there are two versions of what happened, I hope you will

11.

“Has anything like this happened to you before?”

12.

“What is the worst part of the problem to you?”

13.

“What would you like to see happen?”

14.

“What is most important to you about this problem?”

15.

“Is there part of the problem that concerns only you?”

16.

“What solutions can you think of that would help solve you part of the

17.

“What do you think is really going on here?”

18.

“What would it take for you to feel the problem has been solved?”

19.

“Is there anything else you would like to tell us?”

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THINKING STYLES SENSE PERCEPTION: • analytical • realist • insistence on “getting the facts” • attention to detail • reluctant to stray from what can be “proved” • analysis may be more important than action REASON: • rational and logical • likes to explore new ideas • always looking for what works • knowledge for its own sake has little value • see the situation in the whole • sees what needs to be done and does it • may be seen by others as “pushy” and eager to reach objective at all costs TRADITION: • loves order and makes sure everything is done correctly • linear thinking • may apply administrative procedures too rigidly • tendency to confuse intention with results...in reviewing a project, the purpose and the procedures may be remembered and the effectiveness forgotten INSPIRATION: • a dreamer, creative thinker • intuitive and sensitive • bases decisions on how things feel • may seem indecisive and as giving up too easily if it doesn’t “feel” right • may have brilliant flashes of insight SENSE PERCEPTION might think, “If people would stick to the facts, this would be easy.” REASON thinks, “It would all be so simple if people would only look at the whole picture, use their heads and reason it out.” TRADITION thinks, “If only people would follow the proper procedures.” INSPIRATION thinks, “Everything is so rigid and cut and dried. We need to be more free and allow the spirit to flow so we can be inspired to do the right thing.”

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COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT For conflict to occur, people must be in communication with each other. The communication may be either accurate or inaccurate, direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional, constructive or destructive, but people in conflict are exchanging messages or information with each other. The accuracy and form of these messages influence the dynamics of the conflict. Unproductive conflict is often caused by failure to communicate accurate messages about what is being felt or desired. One of the first steps in dispute settlement is to improve communication. DIFFERENT BEHAVIORAL AND COMMUNICATION STYLES: Each person specializes in one or two communication styles (i.e., displays the characteristics of certain style most of the time however, you can display any of the characteristics of another style at different times under different circumstances. The most important point to remember is to look for what you and others do habitually. •

FEELER: Feelers prefer to deal with situation according to their “feeling” perceptions; that is, they frequently respond with “gut reactions.” Feeler are highly sociable and use empathy and understanding in their solution to problems. Most of them are perceptive of others’ needs and are able to discern what lies beneath the surface. Their time orientation is essentially toward the past.



ANALYST: Analysts are characterized by a desire to relate to their environment by thinking things through step by step. Facts and data are the tools with which they think. Most analysts focus on being precise and systematic in their approach to problems. While the feeler’s time orientation is the past, the analyst usually focuses on the whole spectrum--past, present and future. Analysts want to know about the factors that lead to a particular situation (historical background), what is happening, how, and what the outcome will be (future). They are thorough, well-organized and structure.



DRIVER: The driver’s time orientation is the present, the here and now. As a result, most drivers respond to things they can touch, see and feel--things of an immediate and tangible nature. They tend to be action-oriented and are often valued for their ability to get things done. Drivers are often found in production and high-pressure job situations. They see themselves as practical people.



THEORIST: Theorists are individuals who look forward to the future with a global perspective. They are good with concepts and often are able to relate diverse thoughts and ideas into meaningful wholes. Most theorists display good innovative ability and skill in examining “the big picture.” They are creative and interested in the unique and in trends. They are given to generalizations.

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POSSIBLE REACTIONS TO BEHAVIORAL STYLES FEELER

If other’s style is Stirring up THEORIST, he conflict, may see you as: sentimental, as: subjective, manipulative. If other’s style is ANALYST, he may see you as:

If other’s style is FEELER, he may see you as:

ANALYST

DRIVER

THEORIST

Impulsive, poor planner, superficial.

Not rigorous in thinking, unrealistic, superficial, too easily impressed with new ideas.

Nit-picking,over-Too “here and serious, rigid, now,” not working over-cautious, well with ideas, too involved in over-bearing poor details to grasp planner. basic principles.

Over-reacting, overpersonalizing issues, too casual, subjective, manipulative.

Cold, Over-bearing, unemotional, self-involved, insensitive, not lacking trust in empathetic, over-others. reliant on hard facts.

If other’s style is Not hard-nosed, Indecisive, rigid, Too theoretical, DRIVER, he may manipulative, over-cautious, see you as: sentimental. slow.

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Cold, condescending, self-involved.

impractical, verbose, nondoer.

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Process Overview Principles Consultation bestoweth greater awareness and transmuteth conjecture into certitude. It is a shining light which, in a dark world, leadeth the way and guideth. For everything there is and will continue to be a station of perfection and maturity. The maturity of the gift of understanding is made manifest through consultation. (CC, vol. I, p. 93) Say: no man can attain his true station except through his justice. No power can exist except through unity. No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation. (CC, vol. I, p. 93) .... In all things it is necessary to consult. (CC, vol. I, p. 93) The intent of what hath been revealed from the Pen of the Most High is that consultation may be fully carried out among the friends, inasmuch as it is and will always be a cause of awareness and of awakening and a source of good and well-being. (CC, vol. I, p. 93) Modern group theory is well aligned with Baha’i consultation. ∗ The only visions to which an individual can truly become committed are those that are rooted in an individuals own set of values, concerns and aspirations (Fifth Discipline, p. 211). ∗ The single most important factor in maximizing the excellence of a group’s product was the degree to which the members were able to create a state of internal harmony, which lets them take advantage of the full talent of their members (Skilled Facilitator, p. 67). ∗ The purpose of consultation is to show that the views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. (CONS, 97) In modern group process having a common set of values will help create a state of internal harmony which will lead to a sustainable vision and achievable goals. Baha’is share a common set of values which will promote a sustainable vision and achievable goals.

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Process Design This author proposes that group processes be divided into the following categories. Foundation - using the core values of the participants to design a process. These values can be based on the community (i.e., group hallmarks), the process (i.e., shared understanding, inclusive solutions) or faith (i.e., Baha’i - trust, justice, unity). Operating system - based on the process steps. Participatory Decision Making is an operating system because it allows other techniques and processes to work within it. Technique - specific techniques, like meta-decision making or gradients of agreement. Process - complete process like 6 Thinking Hats, that can be used with other techniques or within an operating system. Application - run time version of a program, like ToP or Future Search, where you follow a prescribed pattern. An application could also be a designated hat sequence from 6 Hats. Participation in a decision making process needs to include the parties necessary to implement the outcome. Three levels of participation to consider are: open to all, limited to a specific group, or invitation to specific members. Too few participants might not get the buy-in needed to implement the decision and too many may make the process cumbersome. Meeting length and frequency also has a great affect on the outcome. Meeting times should be limited with frequent breaks and meal periods. It is not realistic to think that a problem can be presented, discussed and decided upon at a single meeting. The best decisions come from multiple meetings instead of just one. Both the Quakers and Future Search use a three meeting process to introduce, discuss and decide on a course of action. Future Search maintains that 2 periods of sleep are needed to assimilate change. The Quakers require that an individual attend the first two meetings to be involved in the decision. The room environment has a large effect on the outcome. People need to see and hear each other, focus on written materials, spacious enough for the group but no larger (SF, 147). For small groups chairs should be in a circle or oval. Meetings can be divided into 4 types: information presentation, information exchange, discussion and decision. The meeting type should be decided for each issue with no more than two of the types being used for any one issue at a meeting. For example, if a facility purchase is the issue, information could be exchanged and a discussion could be held or a discussion held (with information presented at a prior meting) and a decision made.

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Facilitation There are aspects of a number of processes that are compatible with consultation and offer techniques that can be used in Baha’i consultation. Some of the practical ideas from each process are listed below. Skilled Facilitator (SF): Basic and developmental facilitation Schwarz (Skilled 31-32) says that group culture is the set of values and beliefs that members of a group share and that guide their behavior. Norms are expectations about how people should behave and they help keep processes in place. A consistent pattern of culture and behavior found in the Baha’i Faith is the key to helping keep group processes in place. Schwarz (Skilled 6-8) develops the concepts of basic and developmental facilitation where basic facilitation only helps the group solve a substantive problem and temporarily improves its process, while developmental facilitation is where the group seeks to both solve a substantive problem and permanently improve its process. In developmental facilitation the group identifies over time when they have acted inconsistently with their core values and understands how to correct their behavior, with or without the help of a facilitator. Due to the long term relationships and the core values within the Baha’i Faith we use the perspective of the developmental model. Getting to Yes (GTY): Principled negotiation, positions and interests As we have seen Getting to Yes develops the concepts of principled negotiation, positions and interests, and the criteria for a good decision. Negotiation and criteria are discussed in other sections of the paper. Positions are peoples initial starting points for negotiation. Positions are usually narrowly focused expressions of how they view resolving the situation. Interests are a broader view of the same problem and allow for a wider range of options. Many options is new of the keys to coming to a good decision. Quaker Meeting (QM): Gradients, spiritual inspiration, three meeting process The Society of Friends has several key practices. First of all as a religious organization they rely on the spiritual inspiration of prayer. Secondly, they allow any individual to block a decision and they use a decision making gradient. And finally, like Future Search, they rely on a three meeting process to make decisions, but in there process you have to be present at the prior two meetings to vote at the third.. Transformative Mediation (PM): Recognition and empowerment Transformative Mediation is based a communication model that develops the empowerment and recognition of the parties. This model allows open and honest dialogue as a way to forge a relationship. Communication patterns used in transformative model can be used to help repair relationships in consultation. Ethical Decision Making (ED): Options vs. values Ethical decision making models use the values of the parties as a way to evaluate options. In the following table, each option is evaluated according to the values identified by the parties. A - means that the option does not promote the value, a 0 means that the option is neutral on the value. A + means that the option promotes the value. You could also use a numerical scale.

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This also shows if all of the values of the parties are being addressed. Until you have all pluses you may not he thought of all of the options. The scores could also be used to decide where to begin in evaluating the options. Options A B C D

Trust + 0 + +

Values Respect 0 + 0 +

Unity 0 + +

Score 0 1 2 3

Participatory Decision Making (PD): Groan zone and gradients of agreement Participatory Decision making is a combination of sound facilitation practices and works well with many other techniques. Two of its key components are groan zone and gradients of agreement. The groan zone is the point every group reaches when it feels that it has reached the end of its process without resolving the issues. Every group reaches this point and the important thing is to go on. The groan zone usually forces people out of their left brain into their right brain where they can be more creative, allowing more possible solutions to surface. However right brain activity could also lead to more emotion. Gradients of agreement allow for a wider range of selection than a yes or no vote. Gradients work well with feelings, dollars or level of agreement. Gradients can be a starting point for discussion, help in prioritizing next steps or result in a decision. In Baha’i consultation this could become a spectrum of preference with the spectrum reflecting a range of options. For example, if the group needed to decide on how much to spend on an item, everyone could identify where they stand and the discussion could proceed to consensus much easier. Future Search (FS): Meeting cycle for introduction, discussion and decision, whole system Future Search is a whole system ideally used for strategic planning retreats. Future Search depends on having the decision makers in the room. Future Search is planned over a three day period, because they maintain, like the Quakers, that it takes two periods of sleep to assimilate change. The important for Baha’is to consider is that the best decisions are made over a several meeting process where individuals have time to reflect. 6 Thinking Hats (6H): Aligned thinking. 6 Thinking Hats (book by the same name) was developed by Dr. Edward DeBono, a brain researcher from Harvard. DeBono maintains that groups can be more effective when they align their thinking. This is done by asking everyone in the group to wear the same “hat” at the same time. This compartmentalization provides a very productive atmosphere for discussion. There are only two rules with 6 Hats: 1.) everyone agrees to wear the same hat at the same time and 2.) only the facilitator can call for a change in hats. When everyone wears the same hat the group can proceed productively through deep and difficult issues. The 6 Hats and colors are: • Process (blue), used to discuss ground rules, timeframes and process • Information (white), share relevant facts • Feelings (red), how you feel about the idea, usually goes unrecorded

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• • •

Ideas (green), brainstorming and generating new ideas Will work (yellow), everyone considers why the idea will work Won’t work (black), everyone considers why the idea won’t work

One of the key reasons 6 Hats is so effective is that it gives everyone permission to wear each hat. When each person talks about how they feel, why it will work and why it won’t work, everyone feels heard and validated. I don’t always mention hats and colors when I work with groups and I usually add a prioritization step to the Ideas hat.

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Faith Based Facilitation: A Comparison of Mennonite, Quaker and Baha'i Models Spiritual Foundation Mennonite

Quaker

Baha'i

Seeking the Will of God and the Mind of Christ

Seeking and finding the Divine Will

Surrender to His Providence in whatever way may be revealed.

Spirit centered sense of humility

Affairs be managed in the peaceable wisdom and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ

Radiance of spirit and detached from all else save God

Common foundation in Christ

Unity and concord

Unity and harmony

Mennonite

Quaker

Baha'i

Diversity of viewpoints encouraged

Begin with no predetermined point of view

Aware through thy own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor

Open participation

Individuals should assess experience against common aim

If a newly expressed opinion is more true and worthy it should be accepted immediately.

Find a joint way

Search for unity

Arrive at unity and truth

Act non-defensively

Open and honest

Purity of motive

Process

No welfare and no well-being can be attained except through consultation. The light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide. The maturity of the gift of understanding is made manifest through consultation.

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Behaviors and Attitudes Mennonite

Quaker

Baha'i

Patience

Patience

Patience

Seek to understand and be understood, quick to listen, slow to judge

Not to outspeak one another, hearing and determining every matter that comes before you

Weigh opinions with calmness, serenity and composure

Avoid behind the back criticism

Open, honest and friendly

Abstain from back-biting

Humility

Meekness, submitting to one another in lowliness of heart.

Humility and lowliness

Right relationships

Fellowship maintained

Love each in the spirit of fellowship for good results

Mennonite

Quaker

Baha'i

Seek will of God and not agreement of men

Consensus is people made, "sense of the meeting" is created by God's spirit

Rely upon the one true God, and the surrender to His Providence,... for divine confirmations will undoubtedly assist.

Outcomes

Even the minority is willing A small minority may be support a decision they nearer the truth dislike.

A thousand people may hold to one view and be mistaken, whereas one sagacious person may be right It is better that all should agree on a wrong decision and the unity of the group be maintained

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Paths to Peace

Native American Grandfather, Sacred One, Teach us love, compassion, and honor That we may heal the earth and heal each other. Ojibway Hinduism Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe. The Upanishads Zoroastrianism That which is good for all and any one, For whomsoever - that is good for me What I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal is True Law. Dadistani-i-Dinik Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana 5.18 Judaism The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his contenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6: 24-6 Christianity Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. St. Francis of Assisi Islam O God, thou art peace. From thee is peace and unto thee is peace. Let us live, our Lord, in peace and receive us in thy paradise, the abode of peace. Prayer at the close of Salat Baha’i O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. Abdu’l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace.

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Work Book Creating the Context Chair’s role Spiritual Guidelines Hallmarks of Group Process Exploring the Situation and Gathering information Emotions and perceptions Understanding the Issues Identifying Values

 Generating Options Divergence Convergence > Decision Making Process verification Gradients, consensus and voting Action Reflection

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Creating the Context Chair / Facilitator The role of the facilitator should be clearly defined. This is illustrated in the quotes from Skilled Facilitator followed by Baha’i guidelines for a chairperson. Schwarz (SF 87-89) emphasizes a process that offers the least potential for influence from the facilitator and which allows the parties to have the most influence over the outcome. Schwarz (SF 4) defines group facilitation as a process in which a person acceptable to all members of the group, substantively neutral, and who has no decision making authority, intervenes to help a group improve the way it identifies and solves problems, and helps increase the group's effectiveness. Ultimately, and over time, a facilitator's interventions should decrease the group's dependence on the facilitator, and should help the group grow into a mature consultative body. Group facilitators intervene to help groups improve their process, structure, and organizational abilities. In most processes the chairman can either make a motion or can vote but usually cannot do both. Obviously Baha’i chair can do both, so it is even more important that they act with great care. “The second condition is that the members of the assembly should unitedly elect a chairman and lay down guide-lines and by-laws for their meetings and discussions. The chairman should have charge of such rules and regulations and protect and enforce them; the other members should be submissive, and refrain from conversing on superfluous and extraneous matters. (SWAB, 88) They must, when coming together, turn their faces to the Kingdom on high and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one's views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. The honoured members must with all freedom express their own thoughts, and it is in no wise permissible for one to belittle the thought of another, nay, he must with moderation set forth the truth, and should differences of opinion arise a majority of voices must prevail, and all must obey and submit to the majority. (SWAB, 88) Original translation from Baha’i Administration The second condition: - They must when coming together turn their faces to the Kingdom on High and ask aid from the Realm of Glory. They must then proceed with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation to express their views. (Shoghi Effendi: Baha'i Administration, page 22) Chair Job Description (DDBC, p. 3.6-7) Ensure free and open discussion

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Clarify decisions or motions Call for a vote when appropriate Consult with Secretary about agenda Call the meeting to order Spiritual Ground Rules Such systems as “Robert’s Rules of Order” have no authority in Baha’i consultation. Each Assembly should agree on the details necessary for maintaining an orderly flow of consultation and should revise them as required, (DDBC, 3.7) Ground rules guide the actions of the participants in a group discussion. Baha’i ground rules for consultation rest on three responsibilities: to God, to our self and to each other. The prime requisites for them that take counsel together are: 1. purity of motive, [trust others] 2. radiance of spirit, [trust yourself] 3. detachment from all else save God, [trust God] 4. attraction to His Divine Fragrances, [trust God] 5. humility and lowliness amongst His loved ones, [trust others] 6. patience and long-suffering in difficulties and [trust yourself] 7. servitude to His exalted Threshold. [trust God] Should they be graciously aided to acquire these attributes, victory from the unseen Kingdom of Baha shall be vouchsafed to them. (SAB, 87) Hallmarks of Group Process The following hallmarks were gleaned from Baha’i consultation. The examples are only ideas that go along with that attribute. Please see the options section for a more complete listing of ideas. Encourage full participation This matter should be forcibly stressed by thee, so that consultation may be observed by all. (CONS, 93) (Ex. round robin, every speaks once before anyone speaks a second time, written participation) People learn at different rates and in different ways It is certain that human beings are, by their very nature, different one from the other... It is therefore clear that the disparity among individuals is due to differences of degree which are innate. (From a Tablet - translated from the Persian, `Abdu'l-Baha: Education, pages 258-259) He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another's ears nor comprehend with another's brain. Therefore, depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise, you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of

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all the bounties of God (PUP, page 293). (Ex., varied activities with movement, song, writing, brainstorm activities) Listen to others first and listen to the minority Before expressing his own views he should carefully consider the views already advanced by others... Even a majority opinion or consensus may be incorrect. A thousand people may hold to one view and be mistaken, whereas one sagacious person may be right... If he finds that a previously expressed opinion is more true and worthy, he should accept it immediately and not willfully hold to an opinion of his own. (PUP, 72-73) They must in every matter search out the truth and not insist upon their own opinion, for stubbornness and persistence in one's views will lead ultimately to discord and wrangling and the truth will remain hidden. (SWAB, 88) (Ex. ask to hear form anyone that hasn’t spoken, listen to individuals before listening to groups) Speak from your heart and mind “Know through thy own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor.” (HW, 2) This can be attained when every member expresseth with absolute freedom his own opinion and setteth forth his argument. Should anyone oppose, he must on no account feel hurt for not until matters are fully discussed can the right way be revealed. (SWAB, 87) (Ex. ask how members are feeling) Offer ideas as a gift to the group He who expresses an opinion should not voice it as correct and right but set it forth as a contribution to the consensus of opinion...(PUP, 72). (Ex. hand out colored paper and when anyone has an idea they give the paper to the group symbolizing their detachment) Build relationships In all these thou shouldst find these binding relationships securely established. The more this inter-relationship is strengthened and expanded, the more will human society advance in progress and prosperity. Indeed without these vital ties it would be wholly impossible for the world of humanity to attain true felicity and success. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Huququ'llah, pages 509-510) (Ex. take the time to get to know one another, this will greatly ad in decision making processes) Love, Patience and Understanding We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weakness of others, if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage, others will do likewise. (LOG, 83) (Ex. ask every member to share why they appreciate another’s contribution) Develop a shared understanding ...for the light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide (PUP, 72) This [eyes and ears] is his endowment and equipment for the investigation of reality.(PUP, page 293)

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(Ex. produce a combined drawing of the issue being discussed) Foster inclusive solutions The ideal of Baha'i consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. .(LOG, 47) (Ex. use spectrums to show where agreement lies) Truthfulness, Trustworthiness and Unity The purpose is to emphasize the statement that consultation must have for its object the investigation of truth. (PUP, 72) God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. (PUP, page 293) Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized. (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 384) By this excellent method [consultation] he endeavors to arrive at unity and truth. (PUP, 72-73). The fact that we imagine ourselves to be right and everybody else wrong is the greatest of all obstacles in the path towards unity, and unity is necessary if we would reach truth, for truth is one. (PT, 136) Make our souls dependent upon the Verses of Thy Divine Unity, our hearts cheered with the outpourings of Thy Grace, that we may unite even as the waves of one sea and become merged together as the rays of Thine effulgent Light; that our thoughts, our views, our feelings may become as one reality, manifesting the spirit of union throughout the world. (`Abdu'l-Baha: The Local Spiritual Assembly, page 46) Trust is built in the following ways: Trust does not require that parties get along. Lewicki and Bunker (1995) tell us that trust can be built from cooperative or competitive relationships. Repeated interactions promote trusting behavior. Holmes and Rempel (1989) say that behavioral predictability is the most basic type of information relevant to trust building. Small agreements help in building bigger ones. Swinth (1967) maintains that allowing the parties to signal their desires before being in a situation where they must decide whether to trust greatly increases their ability to trust in critical moments. Don’t change the process with each problem. Korsgaard, Schweiger and Sapienza (1995) inform us that trust is built more through a

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fair process (procedural justice) than it is through the problem content (distributive justice). Trust is grown at the water cooler, the cafeteria and the lobby. Blau (1964) says that social exchange should be open, honest, and clear, and lead to repeated interactions, interdependence, and continuity of relationships. What went wrong or right should be be openly discussed and parties should be reciprocally oriented to the welfare of each other. Do what you say and say what you do. According to Marcic (1999), trust should be built through the integrity and competence of the parties, where commitments are kept, and productivity and morale are high. Everyone has access to any information. Schulz and Pruitt (1978) say that trust is built through information that is accurate, reliable, shared freely, and in many different ways. Limit policies and procedures to promote the growth of trust. Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995) say that risk should be present to allow trust to grow with rewards for performance, sanctions for violations, and absolution for violators. Trust should be explicitly recognized as an organizational value. Carpenter and Kennedy (1988) say that values should be defined, open, and lead to common goals and norms.

Exploring the Situation Please God, that we avoid the land of denial, and advance into the ocean of acceptance, so that we may perceive, with an eye purged from all conflicting elements, the worlds of unity and diversity, of variation and oneness, of limitation and detachment, and wing our flight unto the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God. (KI, 60) My hope is that thou wilt acquire a perceptive eye, a hearing ear, and that the veils will be removed from thy sight. (SWAB, 51) When the human soul soareth out of this transient heap of dust and riseth into the world of God, then veils will fall away, and verities will come to light, and all things unknown before will be made clear, and hidden truths be understood. (SWAB, 177) Man should weigh his opinions with the utmost serenity, calmness and composure. .(PUP, 72-73) The Administrative Order provides channels for expression of criticism, acknowledging, as a matter of principle, that "it is not only the right, but the vital responsibility of every loyal

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and intelligent member of the community to offer fully and frankly, but with due respect and consideration to the authority of the Assembly, any suggestion, recommendation or criticism he conscientiously feels he should in order to improve and remedy certain existing conditions or trends in his local community". Correspondingly, the Assembly has the duty: "to give careful consideration to any such views submitted to them". (Universal House of Justice: Individual Rights and Freedom, Pages: 31-32) Our first step in consultation is to gather all of the facts of the situation. As new facts come up we should review our prior assumptions and make sure that they are not based on faulty information. We should consult with anyone who has first hand knowledge of the situation, as well as bring in experts if they are needed.

Emotions and Perceptions Difficult issues inevitably involve a high level of emotion. Emotion is what shows others how deeply we care. However it can also be a deterrent to finding an appropriate solution. The following are some Writings on how to handle emotional situations. When you notice that a stage has been reached when enmity and threats are about to occur, you should immediately postpone discussion of the subject, until wranglings, disputations, and loud talk vanish, and a propitious time is at hand. (LOG, 178) On no subject are the Baha'i teachings more emphatic than on the necessity to abstain from fault-finding and backbiting while being ever eager to discover and root out our own faults and overcome our own failings. (LOG, 88) However, if we spontaneously desire to acknowledge we have been wrong in something, or that we have some fault of character, and ask another person's forgiveness or pardon, we are quite free to do so. The Guardian wants to point out, however, that we are not obliged to do so. It rests entirely with the individual. (CONS, 12-13) In Emotional Intelligence, Baha’i behavioral guidelines are reinforced when it says that • Thoughts in the mind are associated by content and mood (EI, 73) • Physical attunement allows moods to align (EI, 116). • Coordination of moods is the essence of rapport (EI, 117). • Emotional entrainment is the heart of influence (EI, 117). • Good moods enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity (EI, 85). • A sense of humor helps find a creative solution (EI, 85). • People in good moods are more expansive and positive in their thinking. (EI, 85). • Negative thoughts are found to most directly disrupt decision making (EI, 84). • Unresolved issues of negative emotion limit the group’s working relationship (SF, 195). • People have what amounts to a set of bad mood thoughts that come to mind more readily when they are feeling down (EI, 73). • The chemicals the body produces during a high state of agitation take at least 15 to 30 minutes to dissipate. (EI)

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When Baha’is are asked to weigh opinions with calmness, serenity and composure and to love each other in the spirit of fellowship all of these attributes are reinforced. So we can see the importance of refraining from negative emotion. "Let us also bear in mind that the keynote of the Cause of God is not dictatorial authority but humble fellowship, not arbitrary power, but the spirit of frank and loving consultation. (BA, pp. 63-64) Nothing short of the spirit of a true Baha'i can hope to reconcile the principles of mercy and justice, of freedom and submission, of the sanctity of the right of the individual and of selfsurrender, of vigilance, discretion, and prudence on the one hand, and fellowship, candor, and courage on the other." (BA, pp. 63-64) O army of God! Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. Beware, beware, lest any of you seek vengeance, even against one who is thirsting for your blood. Beware, beware, lest ye offend the feelings of another, even though he be an evil-doer, and he wish you ill. See ye not the never-yielding people, see but the Lord of Hosts. (SWAB, page 73)

Understanding the Issues When people listen to each other and use concrete examples to back up their views, they get a much clearer picture of each others’ reality and more likely to have a dialogue leading to shared understandings. (FS, 59). If an issue is controversial, break it down into discrete parts and deal with those individually. We should look behind the facts and identify the issues to be resolved. We should look beyond the positions to the intereests in the case. We should refer back to the issue as we proceed to make sure that it has not changed and that we are still trying to solve the same problem.

Identifying the Values and Virtues There are spiritual principles, or what some call human values, by which solutions can be found for every social problem. Any well-intentioned group can in a general sense devise practical solutions to its problems, but good intentions and practical knowledge are usually not enough. The essential merit of spiritual principle is that it not only presents a perspective which harmonizes with that which is imminent in human nature, it also induces an attitude, a dynamic, a will, an aspiration, which facilitate the discovery and implementation of practical measures. Leaders of governments and all in authority would be well served in their efforts to solve problems if they would first seek to identify the [spiritual] principles involved and then be guided by them." (PWP, 28). Our meaning is that, in the sight of God, trustworthiness is the bedrock of His Faith

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and the foundation of all virtues and perfections. (TR, 340) Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also be acquired. (TR, 338) • The happiness of mankind lieth in the unity and the harmony of the human race (SWAB, 286) • The purpose of man's creation is, therefore, unity and harmony... (PUP, 4) • Unity is the essential truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues of the human world. (PUP, 32) • Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. (TR, 338) • Trustworthiness is the ... foundation of all virtues and perfections. (TR, 340) • Man must strive that his reality may manifest virtues and perfections (WT, 13) For you I desire spiritual distinction -- that is, you must become eminent and distinguished in morals. In the love of God you must become distinguished from all else. You must become distinguished for loving humanity, for unity and accord, for love and justice. In brief, you must become distinguished in all the virtues of the human world -- for faithfulness and sincerity, for justice and fidelity, for firmness and steadfastness, for philanthropic deeds and service to the human world, for love toward every human being, for unity and accord with all people, for removing prejudices and promoting international peace. Finally, you must become distinguished for heavenly illumination and for acquiring the bestowals of God. I desire this distinction for you. This must be the point of distinction among you. (PUP, 190) Once we have identified the issues involved we should decide on the virtues that are appropriate to the situation . These virtues should then be used in the evaluation step of options.

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Options Facilitation is a constant process of expansion and contraction. In expansion new ideas are generated and in contraction those ideas are explored and selected. The activities presented here are in common usage in group facilitation. Divergence - expansion The key to the best resolution is having the most options. Effective brainstorming techniques use the following guidelines (from Participatory Decision Making, p. 100, Future Search, p. 49 and 6 Thinking Hats, p. 115): Every contribution is worthwhile Suspend judgment We can modify this process before it starts or after it ends but not while its underway Open minds through questioning, clarifying and summarizing. Ask questions to speculate, inform, show intent, feel, and test. Modern brainstorming theory says that the key to coming up with the best idea is having the most ideas to choose from. If an idea is selected too quickly it probably hasn’t been thoroughly developed. In brainstorming, you can open minds through questioning, clarifying and summarizing, and by asking questions to speculate, inform, show intent, feel, and test. Every imperfect soul is self-centered and thinketh only of his own good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens; and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race. But when ideas and views reach the utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage of perfection, then will he be interested in the exaltation of humankind. He will then be the well-wisher of all men and the seeker of the weal and prosperity of all lands. This is indicative of perfection. (SWAB, 69) Activities The most effective brainstorming techniques address visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning, along with right and left brain function. Activities that work within a brainstorming process: • Random word lists to initiate idea generation. Each person selects a random word and relates it to a specific idea in the category. • Pass around or snow ball, where everyone writes an idea on a piece of paper and passes it to the person next to them. That person then tries to improve on the idea and it continues for 4-6 iterations. • Add feelings, colors, animals, etc. to ideas • Crumple up ideas and throw across the room • Write poem, song or skit around ideas • Small group discussion • Visioning - imagine the effects of the decision in relation to another time and/or place. • Forcefield - forces that help us and hinder us • Gap analysis - what is between where we are now and where need to be in the future

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Convergence - contraction “...the light of reality becomes apparent when two opinions coincide.” (PUP, 72-3). So long as the powers of the mind are various, it is certain that men's judgments and opinions will differ one from another. If, however, one single, universal perceptive power be introduced - a power encompassing all the rest - those differing opinions will merge, and a spiritual harmony and oneness will become apparent. (SWAB, 63) In contraction there must be some type of selection/grouping process. The following are some selected activities to accomplish this. Activities • Post all of the ideas on the wall where everyone can read and group them by whatever criteria they can identify. • Combine and eliminate duplicate ideas generated in divergence section. • Group ideas generated by whatever categories the group identifies. • Mind map the preferred idea, where all aspects of an idea are diagrammed as a way to completely understand it. • Stand in room to show gradients of interest and feeling (Participatory Decision Making) • Six Hats - state feelings, list strengths and concerns around idea • Nominal Group Technique - n/3 vote for preference where each person votes for 1/3 of the total ideas listed. For example, if 9 ideas are listed each person can vote for 3. Votes are done by placing mark by idea. The discussion starts with the preferred idea or issue. • Option matrix - evaluate options by resources, relationship, values • Sequential questioning - pre-set questions limited by yes - no response Prioritization At different points in any process you might need to prioritize the ideas. Prioritization is only a way to select a starting point and not making the decision. After generating ideas ask each person to vote for n/3 ideas, where n is the total number of ideas. For example, if there are 12 ideas, each person will be asked to select their top 4. This will give the group a starting point for further discussion. Another way might be to ask each person to stand in line on a gradient to show how they feel about each idea. This gives a more complete picture of the feelings of the group. Ideas could also be prioritized by cost or time to complete.

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Decision Making Process ".... The solution, as in all such cases, is to be found through intelligent and mutual compromise...”. (Shoghi Effendi, LOG) Process Verification The decision making process should be established at the beginning of the meeting and verified before any agreement is reached. The process identifies when it is appropriate to move toward closure, how closure is decided and who makes that decision. The process could include a preference for consensus but allow for voting. The chairperson could decide when closure is appropriate or allow the participants to decide. Specific aspects of outcomes are discussed below. Outcomes Participatory Decision Making say that ground rules should specify how the group’s outcome will be determined. Consensus is preferred in all models of group process. Kaner uses gradients of agreement (PD, 212) to show areas of reservation. A sustainable agreement should encourage full participation, promote mutual understanding, foster inclusive solutions, teach new thinking skills (PD, 245). Getting to Yes say that any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement, it should be based on objective criteria, it should be efficient, and it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties. (GTY, 4) TM should result in people not just being better off but better. In a world in which people remain the same, solved problems are quickly replaced by new ones (PM, 29). TM is successful if 1) parties have been made aware of the opportunities presented during the mediation for both empowerment and recognition 2) parties helped clarify the goals, options and resources, and made free choices on how to proceed. TM does not disregard the value of a settlement, it simply acknowledges that even if a settlement is important, there is no effective way to approach it directly without the risk of doing more harm than good (PM, 106). Evaluation of Ideas It is also important that ideas are evaluated against a known criteria. In deciding how to proceed, in addition to the criteria listed above, it is important to evaluate the ideas using these questions. Does it solve the problem completely? Does it solve it permanently? Does it create another problem? Does it meet our values? Does it improve the relationship of the parties? Is it possible?

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Is it legal? Is it in harmony with the Holy Writings? Every one of the friends should highly praise the other and each should regard himself as evanescent and as naught in the presence of others. All matters should be consulted upon in the meeting and whatever is the majority vote should be carried out. I swear by the one true God, it is better that all should agree on a wrong decision, than for one right vote to be singled out, inasmuch as single votes can be sources of dissension, which lead to ruin. Whereas, if in one case they take a wrong decision, in a hundred other cases they will adopt right decisions, and concord and unity are preserved. This will offset any deficiency, and will eventually lead to the righting of the wrong. (Baha'u'llah, From a Tablet - translated from the Persian) As soon as a decision is reached it becomes the decision of the whole Assembly, not merely of those members who happened to be among the majority. .(LOG, 47) Indeed, it has ever been the cherished desire of our Master, Abdu'l-Baha, that the friends in their councils, local as well as national, should by their candor, their honesty of purpose, their singleness of mind, and the thoroughness of their discussions, achieve unanimity in all things. Should this in certain cases prove impracticable the verdict of the majority should prevail, to which decision the minority must under all circumstances, gladly, spontaneously and continually, submit. (Shoghi Effendi: Baha'i Administration, page 80) Consensus Consensus is defined as a collective agreement. The keys to achieving to consensus are having complete information, a clear understanding of the issues, a full exploration of the options and a range of potential resolutions. Rather than voting yes/no, consensus might ask for results along a spectrum or gradient. The spectrum could involve feelings, money or any other range. The ideal of Baha'i consultation is to arrive at a unanimous decision. .(LOG, 47) Vote When this [unanimity] is not possible a vote must be taken...(LOG, 47) Whenever it is decided to vote on a proposition all that is required is to ascertain how many of the members are in favour of it; if this is a majority of those present, the motion is carried; if it is a minority, the motion is defeated. Thus the whole question of `abstaining' does not arise in Baha'i voting. A member who does not vote in favour of a proposition is, in effect, voting against it, even if at that moment he himself feels that he has been unable to make up his mind on the matter.(LOG, 47) ...when one is in the right in a case in dispute, and his minority prevents him from establishing this rightful matter, instead of agitating the subject , if he will humbly submit to sacrifice his position for the sake of unity and peace, God will accept that sacrifice and ere long the rightful matter will be established without any further dispute... Seeking the approval of men is many times the cause of imperiling the approval of God. (`Abdu'l-Baha, in Star of the West, Vol. 6, no. 6, p. 45)

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It is better then to have the opinion of a wise, sagacious man; otherwise, contradiction and altercation, in which varied and divergent views are presented, will make it necessary for a judicial body to render decision upon the question. .(PUP, 72-73) If consensus is unattainable, the process might call for a vote to be taken. Baha’i consultation only allows for yes votes with no abstentions. If a majority does not support the recommendation then it is not implemented. If a majority does support it then all are expected to support it. However a vote gives little information about the level of commitment of the group. Are the people voting yes 51% in favor of it or 99%? Instead of asking who is in favor of the proposal why not ask who has time and would like to work on implementing it. What is the point of approving excellent ideas if no one is willing to put them into action? Action No decision is complete until there has been action taken to implement it. All decisions should have an action plan and timetable of who, what where, when and how with a budget to meet those goals. It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. In short, whatsoever thing is arranged in harmony and with love and purity of motive, its result is light, and should the least trace of estrangement prevail the result shall be darkness upon darkness.... (SWAB, 88) The friends should therefore not feel discouraged at the differences of opinion that may prevail among the members of an Assembly, for these, as experience has shown, and as the Master's words attest, fulfill a valuable function in all Assembly deliberations. But once the opinion of the majority has been ascertained, all the members should automatically and unreservedly obey it, and faithfully carry it out. Patience and restraint, however, should at all times characterize the discussions and deliberations of the elected representatives of the local community, and no fruitless and hair-splitting discussions indulged in, under any circumstances. (Shoghi Effendi: Consultation, pages 104-105) "Baha'is are not required to vote on an assembly against their consciences. It is better if they submit to the majority view and make it unanimous. But they are not forced to. What they must do, however, is to abide by the majority decision, as this is what becomes effective. They must not go around undermining the assembly by saying they disagreed with the majority. In other words, they must put the Cause first and not their own opinions. He (a Spiritual Assembly member) can ask the assembly to reconsider a matter, but he has no right to force them or create inharmony because they won't change. Unanimous votes are preferable, but certainly cannot be forced upon assembly members by artificial methods such as are used by other societies." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 19, 1947, Lights of Guidance, pages 47-48)

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Process Reflection Process reflection is one of the least used and most potent tools of consultation. At the end of each meeting members should ask themselves these four questions. The answers should be recorded and the next meeting should open with the responses from the prior meeting. Steps should then be taken to improve the consultative process at the current meeting based on the responses. In considering our consultative process we should ask ourselves: 1. What worked (pluses +) 2. What could be changed (deltas) 3. How do we feel about our consultation? 3. What did we learn from this 4. What do we want to do next time Participatory Decision Making says that groups need to understand and recognize how they work together. Each consultation should end with a discussion of what part of the process worked and what needs to be changed. The next session should always begin with this critique as a reminder to the group. The group can then truly evolve with its consultative process.

Summary and Conclusion . Baha’i consultation is at the very foundation of modern group process. It contains the values and attributes necessary for optimal group performance. This paper has tried to demonstrate how skills and techniques from compatible group processes can be used in a Baha’i consultative environment to enhance group performance, and to show how Baha’i consultative principles can be used in secular settings.

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Bibliography WT: `Abdu'l-Baha, Will and Testament. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1982 AC: `Abdu'l-Baha, "Consultation", Star of the West Volume 8, Issue 9 (1917): 93-102. SWAB: ___________. Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Haifa, Israel: Baha'i World Center, 1978. TDP: __________. Tablets of the Divine Plan. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1993. PT: _________. Paris Talks, Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1993. PUP: __________. The Promulgation of Universal Peace. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1982. TR: __________ . Trustworthiness. London: The Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1987. HW: Baha'u'llah. The Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1963. KA: _________ . Kitab-i-Aqdas. Wilmette, Ill.:Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1993. KI: _________ . Kitab-i-Iqan. Wilmette, Ill.:Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1950. GL: _________ . Gleanings. Wilmette, Ill.:Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1976. PR: _________. Prayers and Meditations, Wilmette, Ill.:Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1950. CC: The Compilation of Compilations IRF: Individual Rights and Freedoms, Unviersal House of Justice, 1985. PM: Bush, R.A.B. & Folger, J.P. The Promise of Mediation: Responding to Conflict Through Empowerment and Recognition. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1994. CONS: Consultation: A Compilation. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1980. LOG: Effendi, Shoghi. In Lights of Guidance. Ed. Helen Hornby Bassett. New Delhi: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1994. 6H: De Bono, Edward (1996) Six Thinking Hats. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. GTY: Fisher, Roger & Ury, Wiliiam. Getting to Yes. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. EI: Goleman, Daniel (1995) Emotional Intelligence, New York: Bantam Publishing Company. BP: Sibbet, David (2002) Best Practices for Facilitation, San Francisco:Grove Consultants International PD: Kaner, Sam (1996). Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society. ACT: Koestler, Arthur (1965). The Act of Creation. 4M: McCarthy, Bernice (1987). The 4Mat System: Teaching to Learning Styles with Right/Left Mode Techniques. Barrington, IL: Excel. MCS: Guide to Mediation and Facilitation, Mennonite Conciliation Service SF: Schwarz, Roger M. (1994) The Skilled Facilitator. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 5D: Senge, Peter (1996) The Fifth Discipline. FS: Weisbord, Marvin R. & Janoff, Sandra, Future Search (1995), San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Books in bold are especially recommended for practical group guidance

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The mediator should give the parties credit when suggesting a solution .... awareness and of awakening and a source of good and well-being. (CC, vol. I, p. 93).

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