Give Peace a Chance…

By Chris Irons

The United Nations of Strata, the Peace Maker wants everyone to get along and for there to be no contention or disagreement. Noble aspirations, except that we know that is just not realistic in strata. Which in turn means the Peace Maker, for all their good intentions, can become a real problem in stymying genuine discussion and decision-making – particularly if their peaceful aims stop them making a decision themselves.

Catch cry: ‘Look, we all probably need a good time out…’

Red Flags: you may have a Peace Maker on your hands if you hear the following:

  • ‘Things are getting heated here, how about we adjourn for two months and revisit this?’
  • ’We really should all just try and be friends. How about a BBQ by the pool next weekend?’

The Good: look, don’t get us wrong, there is much to like about the Peace Maker. When things get really tense, we could all do with a Peace Maker to remind us about boundaries and if our behaviour is going pear-shaped. Used appropriately and strategically, tactics of the Peace Maker can really get a scheme to a harmonious place.

The Bad: decision-making in strata can be complex. Sometimes, things need to be put on the table, honestly discussed, and analysed, and decided upon – and even then, not everyone is going to be happy (particularly if a vote is close). An inability to accept this numbers-based reality of strata makes the Peace Maker a potential troublemaker, especially if their methods of bringing about peace are school mistress-y or aimed at treating people like children.

Making the Peace Maker Work For the Scheme: the Peace Maker is great when a facilitated, possibly ideological, discussion is needed on a big picture issue. Get them involved in the planning phase of such a discussion. The Peace Maker can also help with immediate support if someone at the scheme is distressed after a negative strata encounter.

What Can We Do When It Becomes a Problem? Channel the Peace Maker into organising activities, events, and meetings where clear boundaries can also be applied. Ensure there is a tangible framework given to the Peace Maker to guide their thinking, rather than a broad, blank canvas.

Fun Fact: ‘making peace’ takes a considerable amount of skill and expertise. People train in peace making skills for a long time, before then putting those skills into practice time after time, honing what they learnt. In other words, being a peace maker is not necessarily as simple as deciding to bring people together – it can take a lot of time and effort.

Think You May Be a Peace Maker? Good on you! Don’t lose that feeling but remember you are one voice of potentially many – and you can’t make everyone see things your way. Understand that strata is very much about competing views and priorities.

Can Strata Solve Assist? Sure can! Drop us a line to see how we can assist with this and related strata issues.

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