Just like any other social organism, communities of purpose are subject to interpersonal processes and group dynamics too. High aims prevent conflicts as little as collegial intentions do. Where innovative people get together to actively shaping higher intends, strong personalities collide, thus, views, intentions and ideas clash. Frictions can lead to irritations, irritations over time, turn into conflicts. Clarity of purpose and subsequent structures, awareness of one’s own nature and – if all else fails – competences in the peaceful conflict resolution are the best ways of coping.
Clarity of purpose and meaningful structures are created by putting the initiative into the proper context, allocating the right means and by establishing a framework in which the fulfilment of the intent-related tasks can be accomplished. Where does the impulse for the initiative come from? From what do we conclude its necessity? How are its people connected to it? What skills are required? How much individual freedom is required and where? Questions like this help to get organised.
Awareness of our personality aspect (Rudolf Steiner described three different personality aspects) helps to understand who is acting out and why. To recognise the three personality aspects the shadow, the double and the I and learning to meaningfully address them helps in fulfilling the community’s purpose but also helps getting to know ourselves better and becoming more integrated human beings. For the purpose of community is not only limited to fulfilling the jointly identified purpose but also to help each other to become fully humans. What personality aspects live in me? How do I recognise them? How do I deal with them in a meaningful manner? How to becoming integrated? These and other questions must be addressed early on so that they do not become stumbling blocks in conflict situations later on. For a better understanding and coping with the different personalities within me, I have developed the method I call TRIALOG (a work in progress).
Last but not least, competences in peaceful conflict resolution belong to the repertoire of sustainable communities of purpose. Knowledge of how conflicts emerge helps finding the right preventive measures. The knowledge of how to constructively handle conflicts takes the fear of conflicts and crises. It is crucial for communities to have a common strategy in dealing with conflicts and crises in order for them not to threatening or even destroying the common good. Better learn early (with TRIALOG) than react too late!