Peace Skills: A Manual for Community Mediators
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Part of the Peace Skills Set, this Manual is designed as atake-home resource to support workshop participants as they returnto their communities and both apply their mediation skills andshare their insights with others. It covers conflict analysis, therole of mediation, the stages of mediation, communication skills,and working with group conflicts and in cross cultural settings.


RONALD S. KRAYBILL is associate professor in the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Kraybill was the former director of training at the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and founding director of the Mennonite Conciliation Service. ROBERT A. EVANS are international trainers and consultants in the field of conflict transformation. They are founding directors of Plowshares Institute and senior fellows at the Centre for Conflict Resolution, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Section One: Assumptions about Conflict and the Role ofPeacebuilders.

Assumptions about Conflict.

Conflict Transformation.

The Role of Peacebuilders.

Resources for Peacebuilders.

The Normality of Conflict.

A Variety of Approaches.

Application Exercises.

Understanding Conflict and the Role of Mediation.

Responses to Conflict.

Sources and Types of Conflict.

Approaches to Addressing Conflict.

The Limits of Mediation.

Justice and? Neutrality?

Application Exercises.

Section Two: Introduction to Mediation.

Mediation: A Tool for Empowering Others.

Mediation Versus Arbitration.

A Four-Stage Approach to Mediation.

A Mediation Tool Kit.

Application Exercise.

Before Mediation: Laying the Foundation.

Getting the Parties to the Table.

The Role of Co-Mediators.

Personal Preparation.

Application Exercises.

The Introduction Stage: Providing Safety.

Getting Off on the Right Foot.

What to Say: Introductory Comments.

Providing a Safe Place.

Application Exercises.

The Story-Telling Stage: Offering Understanding.

Who Goes First?

Understanding as the Primary Goal.

Questions and Statements.

Dealing with Interruptions.

Dealing with Provocative Statements.

Taking Notes and Listening for Issues.

Building on Safety and Understanding.

Application Exercises.

The Problem-Solving Stage: Building Joint Ownership.

Clarify the Issues.

Identify Common Concerns.

Select One Issue.

Focus on Interests.

Generate Options.

Evaluate and Choose Options.

Problem Solving as a Transformative Process.

Application Exercises.

Additional Tools for Problem Solving.

Tools for Defining Problems.

Tools for Breaking Impasse.

Application Exercises.

The Agreement Stage: Seeking Sustainability.

Tips for Writing the Agreement.

Presenting the Agreement.

When Not to Finalize Agreements.

Providing Opportunity.

Application Exercise.

Moving Toward Reconciliation: Letting Go of the Past.

Tell and Retell.

Additional Steps.

Application Exercise.

Section Three: Communication Skills and Tools.

Listening Skills.



Body Language.

Listening as Transformation.

Application Exercises.

Language in Mediation.

Moving from Generalities to Specifics.

Laundering Language.

Hearing Hidden Offers.

Application Exercises.

Emotions in Conflict.

The Importance of Self-Awareness.

A Range of Mediator Responses.


Application Exercises.

Section Four: Building Peace in Communities.

Designing a Peacebuilding Process.

Mediation Skills and the Struggle for Justice.

Extending Mediation Values into Group Conflict.

The Power of Process.

Principles of Good Process.

Conclusion: A Transformative Process for CommunityEmpowerment.

Application Exercises.


"This guide is packed with information.... Any skilled leader who takes the time to carefully study it can lead successful workshops." (Provident Bookfinder, 2/02)"Offers a ray of hope for individuals and communities who long forpeace and reconciliation." (Dr. G. Douglass Lewis, president,Wesley Theological Seminary)

"A must for people who want to be change agents in society.Addresses transformation of conflict from an empowermentperspective." (Craig Arendse, director of mediation andtransformation practice, Cape Town, South Africa) "Offers a ray of hope for individuals and communities who long for peace and reconciliation." (Dr. G. Douglass Lewis, president, Wesley Theological Seminary)

"A must for people who want to be change agents in society. Addresses transformation of conflict from an empowerment perspective." (Craig Arendse, director of mediation and transformation practice, Cape Town, South Africa)