Alternative Dispute Resolution
Tips To Getting Along With Neighbors
- Establish good rapport before any conflict arises. A little small talk goes a long way. It can lay the foundation for raising concerns in a respectful manner.
- Be understanding. If a neighbor has a difficult time, you might offer assistance or ideas for outside resources.
- Do not be quick to judge. Your early morning lawn mowing may be as irritating to them as their late-night door slamming.
- Don’t assume. Your neighbor might not be aware of the fact that their dog is barking when they’re gone, or that their son is riding his bike through your yard. Unless you have a concern for your immediate safety, take your concerns directly to them first, without involving third parties.
- Speak calmly and without accusation, allowing them a chance to respond in a similar fashion.
- Clarify key phrases and preferred communication methods.
- Be open when a neighbor approaches you instead of reacting impulsively and defensively, tell your neighbor you’ll “give it some thought and get back to them”.
- Try mediation. If approaching your neighbors directly isn’t a good option or isn’t working, consider contacting Community Mediation & Restorative Services. CMRS’ trained mediators have been helping neighbors have constructive conversations since 1983, with excellent results. Mediation is a voluntary process, and takes an hour or two. It is convenient and confidential.
The Civility Pledge (from The Speak Your Civility Project, Duluth-Superior)
Today, I will:
- Pay Attention
- Be Inclusive
- Not Gossip
- Show Respect
- Be Agreeable
- Give Constructive Criticism
- Take Responsibility