We will look at reconciliation between two divided sides whose relationship has ruptured. Why this approach? Instead of a clear victim and clear offender, we will be looking into shared responsibility for a damaged relationship and commitment to re-building a relationship.
The aim of reconciliation is to re-establish a relationship. To begin the process we must buy into the vision of shared responsibility for the future. We must be transparent and willing to risk. Here are some steps:
- Be open about roles in building and in damaging the relationship.
- Commit re-building trust.
- Build trust by taking the risks of being vulnerable yet responsible.
- Listen rather than blaming or convincing. Hold each other accountable; be accountable.
- Change behavior and old roles—build a changed relationship.
- Commit to on-going sharing, listening, and responsibility.
- Commit to a new culture in the relationship.
First for our consideration and sharing: In going through a reconciliation process, what would be most challenging for you? How would you handle the challenge? What rewards would come from the challenge?
Second consideration: Imagine sitting down with a political opponent—the goal is to save our community. How would you open the conversation? What would you take responsibility for in the past and in the future?