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Ground rules for good communication

Facilitators emphasise that all parties need to agree to adhere to some ground rules that safeguard respect and constructive behaviour in the dispute resolution process.

Country

Surinam

What challenges does it focus on?

Helping constructive communication between the parties.

Short summary

 Facilitators emphasise that all parties need to agree to adhere to some ground rules that safeguard respect and constructive behaviour in the dispute resolution process. In different cultures different issues are regarded important, but basic rules, such as letting the other party speak freely, are shared around the world. Ground rules work if they:

  • support open and constructive communication
  • allow parties to express their concerns, needs and emotions
  • promote active listening
  • support creative problem solving
  • ensure equality and respect
  • create a safe environment

What level of evidence is it based on?

This is the level of evidence, on a glidingscale

glidingscale_promising glidingscale_tested glidingscale_validated

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Research evidence

Clear rules of communication: At the organisations ASK in Bangladesh, Deme So in Mali, Hagaruka in Rwanda and Cewla in Egypt, as well as representative for Praxis in Azerbaijan and at the CRDC's in Cambodia, facilitators have a set of rules that they insist that parties agree to before they take part in a mediation. These rules typically include:

  • Only one party speaks at a time
  • No interruptions
  • No swearing or insulting the other party
  • Listening to what the other party says
  • Enforcement of Rules: In Indonesia, mediators have a moderator or facilitator present who is responsible for checking that the rules are stuck to. In Mali if the rules are not stuck to, the mediation is suspended until both parties agree to stick to the rules again.

Posters: In Cambodia mediators have posters which display the rules of the mediation. These are typical rules such as ‘no interrupting the other party’. The poster reminds the parties of the rules at all times as they are in view.

Best practices